MORAN — Members of the Marmaton Valley USD 256 Board of Education are one step closer to closing a significant budget gap for the 2010-11 school year, although further cuts or property tax increases still are necessary.
Board President Patti Boyd said Monday that the district likely will restructure its administrative staff by paring one of USD 256’s three administrators. They did not announce which of the administrators — Superintendent of Schools Nancy Myer, middle school and high school principal Jeremy Boldra or elementary school principal Kenneth McWhirter — would be let go.
“There’s just no other way for us to do this,” Boyd told an audience of about 20 patrons. “We looked at several options, but we couldn’t find one that would save us money without costing the district in terms of academic success.
Board members did not vote on the administrative changes, although Boyd said that the consensus among the members was to have two building principals, one for the primary level and one for middle school and high school. Those administrators would share the superintendent’s duties — one as superintendent of schools; the other as assistant superintendent.
Preliminary estimates are that the restructuring would save the school district between $30,000 and $40,000.
The problem is that USD 256 could face a loss of up to $300,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, and even more if the state enacts further cuts in education funding.
But state legislators adjourned earlier this month without approving a budget for the upcoming year.
That means the district still must hold off on putting together a specific budget, Boyd and Myer said.
State legislators adjourned earlier this month without approving a budget for the upcoming year. They will reconvene April 28 to hammer out a budget after they receive updated state revenue reports.
THE STATE’S delay in acting on a new budget is putting a crimp in the district’s planning in other ways, Myer said.
In any other year, the district would be required to notify teachers by May 1 whether their contracts would be renewed for the upcoming academic year.
But without a budget, legislators recognized that schools would be unable to complete their budget plans by then.
So, both legislative houses have extended the notification deadline to May 21, although the bill has yet to be signed by Gov. Mark Parkinson.
The Board also has had to hold off on its negotiations with Marmaton Valley’s teachers union. An impasse could be declared by June 30 if no master agreement is reached, Boyd noted.
Because of the length of the meeting — nearly 4 1/2 hours, including 2 hours, 45 minutes in private discussions to decide on the administrators — the school board has set a special meeting at 7:30 p.m. April 26 to further discuss the budget and its implications.
“We have three pages of ideas that we need to discuss,” Boyd said.