May 26 • 05:43 PM

Jobs lost in Imlay district

School board cuts 23 positions and $1.1 million for 2010-11 year

May 26, 2010
IMLAY CITY — The school board unanimously approved $1.11 million in budgets cuts for the 2010-11 school year at their Monday night meeting.

At the recommendation of Supt. Dr. Gary Richards, the board gave the okay to eliminate 23 positions. They include:

•six teachers

•twelve building aides

•two administrators

Treasurer Chris Medaugh listens as Supt. Dr. Gary Richards explains the school’s financial challenges during Monday night’s meeting. photo by Maria Brown.

•three custodians

•two bus drivers

•one secretary

Additional savings will come from a summer four-day work week and the implementation of a 1.5 mile radius walking zone.

President Sharon Muir said the board took a "fair and balanced approach" when it came time to narrow down their suggested cuts list.

Richards stressed that the cuts are based on 'soft data,' considering that all schools are subject to mid-year funding cuts from the state.

"It's like being on a crazy, cruel rollercoaster ride every year," Richards said.

Teaching positions to be eliminated include an electives teacher from both Weston and Borland elementaries, a middle school counselor, a middle school technology prep teacher, a middle/high school vocal music teacher and one high school English/history teacher. In addition, high school art will be reduced by one section.

Cuts to the teaching staff total $431,700.

Administrative jobs to be cut include the athletic director and assistant superintendent for a savings of $39,000 and $150,000, respectively. The high school assistant principal will assume the athletic director's duties and game managers will be hired at a cost of $7,000. Richards said he and the building principals will pick up duties once assigned to the assistant superintendent.

Building aides to be cut include three media center/library jobs at Weston, Borland and the high school; the Title One (HERO program) aide at Weston; two special education aides at Borland and the high school; four middle school building aides; one high school bilingual aide and the high school's in school suspension (ISS) supervisor.

The lone secretary to be cut is from Venture, Imlay's alternative high school.

With three custodians eliminated, every other day cleaning schedules will be established for the middle and high schools.

With the elimination of two bus drivers, a 1.5 mile radius walking zone will be created and other routes could be lengthened.

Richards said they plan to hire four walking route 'bus drivers' to accompany students on their trek back and forth to school every day. If the weather is especially bad, buses will be used.

Staffing cuts total more than $582,000. That figure also includes $16,000 in concessions from administrators.

Already included in the budget were additional hours that current aides, teachers and other staff will need to assume as a result of the staffing cuts.

As for non-staffing cuts, the district will cut their testing and textbook budgets, and eliminate academic and employee service awards, among several others. They anticipate saving $15,000 in energy costs by switching to a four-day work week during the summer.

Non-staffing cuts total close to $98,000.

Richards said the district's plans for next school year include using $723,072 in fund balance monies.

It remains to be seen how many employees will face layoffs. Richards said that 40 employees are eligible to retire through a new state incentive program.

Vice President Beth Murawski stressed that now's the time for employees to consider concessions so "that the next time around cuts won't be so bad," she said.

Dozens of employees were present at Monday's meeting but no one chose to address the board during public time.

• • •

Newly elected school board member Greg Dennis participated in his first meeting since the May 4 election. He's filling the partial-term of late member Eric Thuma which was held by Anne-Marie Giglio until now. Giglio, who won a four year board seat, will return to the board in July.

Castle Creek
Milnes Ford
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