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WJBD - Local News - Centralia High Cuts $350,000 In Spending From Next Year's Budget

Centralia High Cuts $350,000 In Spending From Next Year's Budget

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

Centralia High School Superintendent Chuck Lane has outlined $350,000 in cuts that will be made to next year's budget.  He doesn't feel the school district has any choice because of continued decreases in state funding and uncertainty about how this year's spring legislative session will end.  

"Of our four people who are leaving total, we are going to replace only one of them.  So we are looking at about $250,000 there in not replacing those people.  People might think that is easy to do, but it still hurts the school because those are positions that need to be filled.  There will be sections of classes that we cannot offer now because we are not replacing those teachers.  The class size in those departments are going to go up, which hurts our overall product.  But we have no choice.  Something else we are going to try and do is reduce all staff budgets by 15 percent," said Lane.

Lane says the budget for supplies and materials has already been cut 20% two years ago.  He notes if things don't change, next year will be much more painful.  "There is not much else we can do, except eliminate staff and programs. There just is nothing else we can do.  Hopefully by then our state will start take the funding of our schools seriously and realize the damage they are causing, especially to the district's south of I-80," said Lane.

To put the cuts into prospective, Lane says they are receiving $100,000 a month less state aide than they were three years ago. He would be happy just to get back to the old level of funding.  

Lane is projecting the district will be in the black at the end of this school year.  Current projections show a $16,815 surplus, compared to the $108,000 deficit projected in the budget at the beginning of the year.  However, Lane cautions the budget number includes $400,000 owed by the state, but not yet received.  

The school board discussed issues with the field house and lighting at Evers Football Field.  Lane expects the field house to have several violations when an inspection is completed in the near future.  He hopes Health, Life, Safety money can be used to make needed improvements.  Lane says the lighting at the field is dim and arcing, but is still functional.  

Board President Keith Kessler raised concerns about future use of Rotary Field for the girl's softball program.  He noted the large number of rain outs and games having to be moved because the field doesn't drain well.  Lane will address the issue with those who manage the complex.  

The board accepted the resignation of Dane Hunter as a science teacher.  Lane says he  hopes to keep the recently established FFA program going as well as find a science teacher qualified to teach the ag related science classes.  However, he's not certain a teacher with those qualifications can be found.  

The board approved the resignation of math teacher Renee Ryterski, part-time cafeteria employee Debbie Chapman and assistant volleyball coach Mallory Kauling.  A letter of retirement from Rene-Knowles as a Spanish teacher effective at the end of the 2016-2017 school year was approved.  

The board hired James Hozler and Garrett Ford as math teachers for the coming school year.  Cole Schrage was employed as a special education teacher at the Annex.  

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