- Special Sections
BROOKVILLE â€” A special meeting of the Brookville Area School Board was held Monday, where board members discussed possible options for reducing spending by nearly $2 million.
Potential reductions include eliminating more than 20 staff members and reducing spending on athletics and extracurriculars.
â€śThis, obviously, is not something that we like to do,â€ť Superintendent Sandy Craft said. â€śThe people on our staff are people from our community that work hard, but this is a must with where we are.â€ť
The Brookville district anticipates a budget of $20.5 million for the 2011-12 school year, a nearly $1.5 million decrease exacerbated by rising costs.
In total, the administration estimates that $1.9 million in savings must be realized.
Craft outlined the possible reduction in staff, saying three teaching positions would be eliminated in elementary schools; seven teachers would be pared from the high school; 10 special education positions would be cut; and numerous aide, secretary and grounds crew positions would be eliminated.
The result would be more students per classroom and fewer elective courses, but cuts would not end there.
â€śThere will be a little more pressure on everybodyâ€™s plate, and a few more duties on that plate,â€ť Craft said. â€śThat is what weâ€™ll do, but weâ€™ll maintain the integrity of our community school.â€ť
Craft said $50,000 could be reduced from the athletic department, textbooks could be held for a longer period of time, and students may have to pay for their own materials for electives â€” such as purchasing their own lumber for projects.
Other areas eyed for cuts could include:
â€˘ Restricting freshmen and sophomores from attending Jeff Tech.
â€˘ Reducing student activities.
â€˘ Eliminating staff and board members from attending national conferences.
â€˘ Securing training and services with contracts through neighboring districts.
â€˘ Eliminating tuition reimbursement for Act 93 staff members.
Business Administrator Jason Barnett stressed that no cuts were finalized, and the budget situation could improve.
â€śEverything hurts,â€ť he said. â€śEverything has an impact. Itâ€™s a matter of providing the best programs that we can with the money that we have.â€ť
Craft said the district â€śhas been very frugal,â€ť and reduced spending each of the last two years. State budget cuts combined with rising prices do not reward that frugality, Barnett said.
The state cut Brookvilleâ€™s basic education fund by $1.5 million. On top of that, costs for salaries and benefits are expected to increase $400,000; out-of-district enrollment could increase $150,000; retirement account contributions could increase $300,000; and insurance will increase $51,000.
â€śUsually, we get a $200,000 to $300,000 basic education increase,â€ť Barnett said. â€śThat covers most of our cost increases. Now, not only are we getting no increase, but our funding was reduced $1.5 million.â€ť
Barnett said he understands that cuts have to be made, saying, â€śThe governor (Tom Corbett) is calling this a resetting of the budget, which is what we have to do, but it is very difficult.â€ť