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Magnuson lays out budget reduction plan

By Staff | Apr 12, 2011

Estherville Lincoln Central Community School District superintendent Dick Magnuson Monday laid out a scenario for a budget reduction plan that he’ll present at the May board meeting.

In prefacing his remarks, Magnuson said the district knew it wouldn’t be getting stimulus or Education Jobs Bill funding this year, except for some carryover from the latter.

Some savings will come after resignations which may be absorbed and by hiring a maintenance person with electrician’s certification.

Magnuson said Erin Rogers of the central office will shift most of her duties to Armstrong-Ringsted but still work part-time at ELC, maintaining a sharing arrangement that has helped bring in supplemental weighting money.

Other cost-savings measures could include eliminating bus stops within a mile of district buildings and possibly eliminating a bus route.

Ideas Magnuson presented included the following:

n Eliminating the multi-occupations course at the high school.

n Reduction in school nurses. Magnuson offered four scenarios, including eliminating a position, cutting hours and outsourcing.

n Reducing one guidance position.

n Having a high-school teacher absorb the middle-school technology position.

Magnuson pointed to some unknowns, including whether the Iowa Legislature will approve 2 percent allowable growth or what the settlement will be with teachers.

“We’re at the point now where it’s just more and more difficult to cut expenses,” Magnuson said. “We are in the same boat as every other district in the state.”

“We are basically on a spending freeze,” said Magnuson, noting the district has to shave another $550,000 in spending to leave an adequate year-end balance.

Magnuson said building principals were to meet Tuesday and look at various options. The board will meet Monday, April 18 to discuss budget reductions.

Magnuson said teachers need to be notified by April 30 if their positions are to be eliminated.