School Board Narrows Down Budget Cuts, Leaning Toward One List of Options

By KBJR News 1

March 12, 2012 Updated Mar 12, 2012 at 9:46 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - The Duluth School Board is narrowing down the cuts to the district to fix the $4.8 million dollar budget deficit, $3.8 million of which is from the upcoming school year.

Board members are looking at two main options and after discussing the options Monday, board members are leaning toward one option more heavily.

The first option would cut more than $1.5 million dollars worth of elementary specialists, but not add to the class sizes.

The second option, preferred by several board members, adds to class sizes, but does not cut elementary specialists, reduce middle school athletics and activities, or limit high schoolers to six classes a day.

"Unless somebody drops $3 million on us, it's going to be difficult to make these cuts, it's impossible to make these cuts without hurting somebody. We're going to hurt some people. Those are the decisions, that's what we're elected to do," said Mike Miernicki, a Duluth School Board Member.

Another cut that could occur under either option includes reducing transportation costs.

That would happen by changing the scheduling of the school days to make bus pick-up and drop-off more efficient.

The board is looking at three options. One of the options, some school board members said they liked, has most elementary schools starting 8 a.m. and getting out at 2:30 p.m., while high schools and middle schools start at nine a.m. or shortly after.

The school board plans to make the final budget decisions March 20.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike