Press-Republican

Local News

April 17, 2013

City School maintains programs, considers restorations

(Continued)

About $11,000 would be needed for gymnastics, said City School Associate Superintendent Jay Lebrun, while restoring field trips to their previous capacity would require another $26,500.

“We are, in essence, leaving some money on the table that would be able to be utilized for programmatic improvements,” Wachtmeister said of keeping the levy at 2.49 percent.

Raising the additional $37,500 via taxes, he added, would put the district’s total tax-levy increase at about 2.7 percent.

In addition, he advocated for restoration of previous cuts to the district’s music, foreign-language and Odyssey programs.

ADDING CLASS SECTIONS

Wachtmeister also expressed concern that some class sizes at Oak Street and Momot elementary schools are approaching their limits for next school year.

Short said the district may need to add up to three elementary class sections next fall, depending on how enrollment pans out; however, he likely won’t know for sure until sometime this summer.

There is room in his proposed budget, he said, to add two class sections if needed, but adding a third would be difficult without additional funding.

While board member Dr. David Stone said he supported restoring gymnastics, field trips and Odyssey, fellow member Clayton Morris said he felt the primary concern should be ensuring funding for a third class section.

If, ultimately, it were not needed, Morris said, that money could then be used to restore programs.

LEVY OPTIONS

Another option, Wachtmeister said, would be to stick with a 2.49 percent tax-levy increase and use reserves to fund budget additions.

Board members Amelia Goerlitz and Robert Hall and Vice President Tracy Rotz said they would support such a move, as they wished not to increase the proposed levy.

Wachtmeister noted, however, that the board should make a firm decision before this summer about whether to fund gymnastics, a fall sport, so the team can plan accordingly.

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