Marysville News

If November levy fails

Board approves proposed budget cuts


Marysville Board of Education members voted unanimously Sept. 20 to accept Superintendent Diane Mankins'recommendations for potential budget cuts should the district's levy fail in November.

"The important part about this levy is for us to pass in November so we can collect in January," Mankins said. "So if we don't pass in November and we have to go back in the spring, we will still have to make reductions because we won't collect that money until January 2014."

The initial proposal includes 35 staff positions, which would cut costs in salaries, health costs and mandated retirement benefits.

One central office administrator would be eliminated for a savings of $88,520; one secretarial post would be cut for a savings of $42,240; and a reduction in administrative contract days would save $75,000.

"One of the areas we are going to look at is our school psychologists," Mankins said. "Our school psychologists are currently on administrative contracts."

Her proposal also includes cuts to the classified staff. The jobs of 13 office aides, support services, secretaries, custodians and nurses would be cut districtwide for a savings of $213,600.

"That would include looking at the transportation department as well as building level positions," Mankins said.

Certified staff cuts include 20 teachers, mostly high school and middle school elective teaching positions, some K-12 guidance support, K-8 reorganization of unified arts and K-4 classroom teachers. All of those proposed cuts total $2 million.

"Schools will be significantly different to parents and students with this cut," Mankins said. "K through four will see bigger class sizes and high school students will see a slimmer offering of electives."

Her report states that audits will be done in an effort to continuously look for opportunities to maximize efficiencies.

"We know that even if we pass the 4-mill (levy), we will be in deficit spending after a year," she said.

Those audits will include athletics, with an eye toward making athletics self-sufficient.

"That's not going to happen in a year," she said. "But we want to sit down and look at some strategies we can put in place and have a five-year plan."

Board President Jeff Mabee said the plan would not include raising pay-to participate fees.

"We have a very supportive community here, so I would be shocked if we couldn't come up with something," Mankins said. "We may not be able to become entirely self-sufficient, but may be able to at least cut in half what we're doing now with some strategic moves."

Special education will also undergo an audit.

"A third party will come in and do an overall assessment," Mankins said. "They would interview teachers administrators, look at the needs of our students and make sure we're getting the best bang for our buck. Maybe we have redundancies in some areas."

Other areas to be audited include all supplementals, extended days, building efficiency -- including enrollment, staffing and maximizing resources for students, redistricting elementaries, per-class expendituresand high school schedules.

"As a district, we're looking at a different start-stop schedule," Mankins said. "We're working on a survey to send to parents to get feedback from them on what time school starts.

"The idea would be to increase the instructional period, maybe go from a 45-minute period to a 50-minute period. But your instructional periods would be reduced."

Mankins said the district may already be operating at maximum efficiency.

"But I think it's important to look at all of our options," she said.