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BEA school board makes staff cuts

By Staff | Apr 20, 2009

Members of the Blue Earth Area School Board approved staffing cuts Monday night in an effort to balance its budget.

During a budget workshop on April 6, district officials identified proposed cuts totaling about $409,000 for next year.

While several retirements will mean a savings of nearly $283,000, staffing reductions were necessary.

“In looking at section sizes this is what we decided to do. It’s not an easy thing to do or the board enjoys doing,” says Superintendent Dale Brandsoy.

Final enrollment figures and state aid from the Legislature will determine if more cuts will need to be made.

State lawmakers have yet to approve a budget and the session will end in May. The school board must have its budget completed by June.

The board unanimously voted to discontinue a full-time kindergarten and fifth-grade position, and a half-time third-grade and quarter-time industrial technology position.

Placed on unrequested leave of absence was fourth-grade teacher Amy Ankeny and automotives instructor Gary Engler.

The board approved a resignation for elementary social worker Kari Werth; a medical leave request for Barbara Hanson; and retirements for sixth-grade teacher Robert Hanson and middle school English teacher Lillian Robinson.

Cuts discussed at the budget workshop and not acted on were the elimination of a bus route and shortening two others; food service cuts; non-certified staffing reductions; and coaching cuts.

Boardmembers also approved capital outlays totaling about $300,000.

Some of the items included grounds repairs; general equipment; athletic and music equipment; retrofitting light fixtures; and textbooks.