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  Monday January 26th, 2015    

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WAPS budget cuts revealed (01/27/2013)
By Emily Buss
The Winona Area Public Schools (WAPS) Board heard 21 proposed recommendations Thursday that aim to cut $500,000 from the budget for the 2013-2014 school year. According to recent budget projections, the district must also cut $750,000 for 2014-2015, and $450,000 for 2015-216.

The many proposed recommendations would help trim the budget for a variety of departments and allow for an increase in class sizes.

“This is a big thing,” Superintendent Scott Hannon admitted. “A lot of folks have been waiting for this with bated breath because this is significant. We have been in good shape, but we’re at a point now where we need to adjust our budget.”

Although Hannon had confirmed to the Winona Post that dividing the elementary students into grade level buildings would be on the list of proposed recommendations, he denied that Thursday, saying it was merely an option for future discussions.

Proposed to save the district the most money would be increasing current class size targets by two. If this option were chosen, the report listed an estimated $110,000 could be saved.

The second recommendation proposes saving the district nearly $50,000 by reducing the amount allocated to textbooks. The report suggests supplementing textbooks with other digital resources.

Also proposed were reductions in instructional supplies for all departments that could save more than $28,000, and a clerical reduction at both the middle and high school could save an estimated $40,000 combined.

While the board plans to cut nearly $500,000 from its budget, several proposals for revenue generators were discussed, including increased athletic and activity fees.

The report proposes increasing the fees by $10 and cites the change to be “more in line with [the] rest of Big 9 Conference.” While the added fee brings in nearly $7,000 into the district, one board member feared it may be a burden to some families.

“Ten dollars isn’t that much, but my concern would be for families who have multiple students in multiple sports,” board member Ben Baratto said.

Baratto asked if the increase would be added to each sport, and WAPS Fiscal Affairs Director Dan Pyan confirmed that it would.

“I know not to take any of this stuff lightly,” board member Jay Kohner said. “But, it does feel like we do now at leave have the needed information to make wise decisions and move forward.”

Other proposed

budget cuts

• Restructure elementary EBD programs and day treatment services- $38,000

• .6 reduction of Middle School electives (FACS)- $33,000

• Chargeback HR and IS services to school nutrition and community services- $25,000

• Four-day work week for eight weeks in the summer- $26,312

• Restructure Middle School in-school suspension- $21,153

• Reduction of .2 administrator $20,000

• Restructure high school and middle school safety specialist schedules- $16,000

• Reduce school nutrition, maintenance position by .3 FTE- $15,000

• Reduce special education lead teacher position at the middle school by .4 FTE- $15,000

• Move Greenhouse Program to a different location- $10,000

• Reduce elementary consumable instructional supplies- $10,000

• Replace Lotus Notes and MS Office with Google (G-Mail and apps)- $10,000

• Change property insurance parameters- $10,000

• Close middle school pool early- $7,000

• Reduce copy usage- $6,000

The public will have the opportunity to discuss the proposed changes at a public hearing on Thursday, January 31 at 6 p.m.  


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