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New London-Spicer, Minn., board adjusts budget cut process

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board approved the 2012-2013 master agreement, the contract with the district's teachers union, at the regular meeting Monday in New London.

According to district Superintendent Paul Carlson, the teachers will meet on Thursday to review the contract information and they will vote on ratifying the contract on Monday.

If the teachers do not approve the contract, the next step is mediation, which is set for Feb. 21.

The board also heard a report that modifies the district's budget reduction timeline, with the district administration presenting the preliminary budget reductions at the Feb. 13 regular meeting, presenting a draft of the cuts at the March 26 meeting and the board then taking official action on the reductions in programs and staffing on April 9. The timeline makes slight changes in several deadlines, which are required to meet the legal requirements for layoffs.

Another key date is June 25, when the final budget for the coming school year will be approved.

Carlson had previously stated that there is no target amount for the budget cuts, because the district has to settle its teacher contract, revise the current year budget and make enrollment projections, before setting a number. The district has made approximately $200,000 in budget reductions each year for the past several years. Last year, the cuts totaled $193,214 and the previous year, $289,790 was cut from the district's budget.

The board also approved the school calendar for the 2012-2013 school year. The first day of school is Sept. 4, and the last day for students is May 31. Graduation is June 2. Students will have Dec. 24 to Jan. 2, 2013, off for Christmas break and a spring break from March 27 to April 1, 2013.

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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