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ELC District could lose up to 11 staff

By Staff | Mar 15, 2011

Up to 11 Estherville Lincoln Central staff positions funded by two federal programs could be on the chopping block.

Superintendent Dick Magnuson at the ELC Board meeting Monday said six positions funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 plus another four or five funded by the Education Jobs Fund could be impacted. The Education Jobs Fund provides federal funding to states to support elementary and secondary teacher, school-level administrator and other essential school-level staff salaries and related costs. The $10 billion fund was established by Congress through H.R. 1586, which was signed into law last Aug. 10.

Compounding the situation, of course, is uncertain funding for allowable growth at the state level.

“We have a lot more questions than we do answers,” Magnuson said.

Those questions include:

n A contract settlement with the Estherville Lincoln Central Education Association.

n Settlement of a custodial contract.

n A decision on allowable growth by the Iowa Legislature.

Also limiting finances is that the district is held to just another $100,000 on its spending authority.

Assuming that the board wants to continue to maintain a $1 million year-end cash balance, Magnuson outlined a couple scenarios.

With zero percent allowable growth, the district’s proposal to the ELCEA would mean it would have to cuts costs by $478,971 next year. The ELCEA proposal would require a $785,350 cut and aging the salary schedule with no raise in the base would mean a cut of $635,295.

Two percent allowable growth, with the district’s proposal, would mean a cut of $442,113. Two percent growth with the ELCEA proposal would mean a $789,492 cut while aging the salary schedule would mean a reduction of $598,437.

Magnuson said attrition could hold down some costs.

“Do you want to start making cuts when you don’t know what’s going to happen?” asked board member Duane Schnell.

Magnuson said impacted staff needed to be notified of any expected cuts by April 30.