Tricounty News

Kimball School Board to consider budget reductions

For the first time in the past three (3) years, the Kimball School Board must make some reductions in order to balance the budget for the 2013-2014 school year.

Reductions during the four (4) years of 2007-2008 to 2010-2011 averaged $230,000 per year.  The operating levy that was passed by the voters in November, 2010 made it possible to get past the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years without needing to reduce staff and/or educational programs.

During the past two (2) school years, the district has been able to use the operating levy dollars to provide needed improvements, materials and services that were put “on hold” since the 2006-2007 school year. Some of those included:

• Updating the technology infrastructure so improved technology could be added,

• Upgrading computer labs at the elementary and senior high buildings,

• Improving and updating curriculum in a number of subject areas,

• Reducing the cost of everyday, all-day kindergarten tuition,

• Adding some elementary classroom staffing,

• Roof maintenance project at the elementary to coincide with the “hail damage” roof project,

• Update some athletic activities equipment and make improvements to some of the outdoor fields and

• Add new technology within classrooms in both buildings to enhance the education of students.

The lack of funding from the state of Minnesota and a declining enrollment for the district have combined to bring about the current reduction situation. The School Board will need to reduce the budget by about $200,000 in order to balance it. The Board Budget Committee will be working with the administration and discussing possible reductions with the full Board. Reductions will involve personnel, supplies, materials and possible programs. If the current legislative session provides any additional dollars for school funding, then the reductions can be revisited. However, the final legislative decisions do not get put into place until after the school districts must make personnel decisions.

The School Board will work on these possible reductions during April and the first part of May. The final decisions and action for any personnel reductions will take place at the May Board meeting held on May 15.