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NLS School Board considers budget cuts to the tune of $560K

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board reviewed a list Monday of almost $560,000 in potential budget cuts.

However, the actual amount the district will need to trim for the upcoming school year hasn't been determined, according to Superintendent Paul Carlson.

He said the figure could be as low as $225,000, due in large part to declining enrollment.

Carlson stressed the district is "very early" in the budget process. Officials will have a greater idea of what will be cut following a Feb. 22 board meeting, when budget revisions for the current school year are approved.

Another wildcard is possible reductions in per-pupil funding from the state.

"A lot of things may change," Carlson said.

He added the district is seeking input from its staff and the local community.

The list reviewed Monday includes $559,241 in cuts.

The reductions include eliminating the assistant principal position, at a savings of $105,100; cutting a full-time counselor, at a savings of $70,500; cutting two 9½-month secretary positions, at a savings of $62,800; moving activities for grades 7 and 8 to community education, at a savings of $58,000; replacing the retiring business manager with an accountant and redistributing the non-accounting portion of that job, at a savings of $40,000; and moving early childhood programs from Prairie Meadows Learning Center in Spicer to Prairie Woods Elementary School in New London, at a savings of $30,000.

Teacher cuts include reductions of 0.5 full-time equivalents in music, business education and physical education, a 0.4 FTE reduction in the alternative learning/English language learner programs and 0.2 FTE reductions in family and consumer sciences and language arts.

Extracurricular activity changes include the elimination of the middle school jazz band and boys' tennis and cross country programs. A fee increase of $100 for high school and $75 for middle school activities is also possible.

In other action, the board accepted a letter of retirement from Sonya Peterson, who has been with the district for 33 years and has served as elementary principal the past 12 years.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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