CCSD: More budget cuts?
Although the Churchill County School Board already decided on budget cuts, a possible riffing was still on the table at their Thursday night meeting.
At the trustees’ first April meeting, they deliberated about the looming budget cuts they faced that night. Phyllys Dowd, director of Business Services, provided trustees with recommendations for positions, programs and employees that could be cut. After hours of discussions, the board cut more than $2 million throughout the district. Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon said those approved cuts brought the district where it needed to be.
However, Trustee Clay Hendrix discussed the possibility about making another cut in the Science Department at Churchill County High School. He said he looked into the science position and the classroom ratios and was told the position was not needed.
“If we have to do things now, we’ll have to do things next year,” Hendrix said. “I think this will be a step in the right direction for cleaning up and moving forward, as the next year comes and we deal with the budget again … obviously it will be difficult.”
Sheldon said a position would be riffed, but the teacher that would be riffed holds the lowest seniority in the Science Department. She said the classes currently hold 22-24 students and would go up to 27-28 students per class.
“This is hard. I’ve had teachers tell me that class sizes are increasing, and it’s getting harder and harder to teach,” said Trustee Carmen Schank.
Science teacher Karl Marsh addressed the trustees.
“Mr. Johnson and I are both members of the National Science Teachers Association,” Marsh said. “Their guidelines are for one teacher there should be no more than 24 students in a lab science. The reason for that is if something does go wrong, you open yourself up for liability as well as the school administration and school district.”
Hendrix said CCHS Principal Kevin Lords reported the position was not needed and the remaining science teachers would be able to absorb the students; however, it wasn’t mentioned cutting the position would affect the labs.
The motioned failed on a 3-3 tie.
Sheldon made a comment that although the cut is not needed at the moment, trustees did balance the current budget cuts with $200,000 the district is unsure of if it has it or not.
Other items the trustees approved or discussed include the following:
Approved acceptance of renewal proposal from Wells Fargo Insurance Services for Hometown Health, VSP and Guardian for July 2014 through June 2015 for an estimated annual premiums for the district, not including dependent coverage, would be $3,639,717 for medical, $24,402 for vision, $244,022 for dental and $34,099 for life.
Approved contract for Ferguson Construction in the amount of $836,159 for construction of the Northside Early Learning Center summer 2014 classroom renovation project.
Approved request for qualification and request for proposals for technology services.
Discussed the superintendents’ evaluation.