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NLS board approves $157K in budget cuts

NEW LONDON — The New London-Spicer School Board on Monday approved a resolution cutting $157,564 from the district’s budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year.

The reductions included the non-renewal of one teacher’s contract, that of probationary middle school reading and language arts teacher Terri McCarthy-Wermerskirchen.

The cuts also included cutting a 0.5 full-time equivalent science position of a teacher who has requested a year-long leave, and a 0.33 full-time equivalent family and consumer science teacher for $25,824. The family and consumer science teaching position will be shared with Willmar, keeping a full-time teacher between the two districts.

The remainder of the reductions include cutting the district’s overall supply budget by 5 percent, which is a $9,817 reduction; cutting sixth-class pay — the additional amount teachers receive for teaching an extra class — by $27,255 at the high school, and reducing transportation costs by $6,983 for two fewer days of school. The district’s calendar for the coming year includes two more days of staff development.

The board had discussed adding $6,605 in revenue by increasing student activity fees by $10. No action was taken on that matter Monday, and Superintendent Paul Carlson noted that the board will consider the increase in July.

The district’s target range for the budget reductions, based on student enrollment and state funding, was between $125,000 and $175,000. The process began in January, when the board approved a resolution directing the district administration to make recommendations for budget reductions.

The board also approved the 2014-2015 capital improvement projects, including the larger projects to be completed during the summer months. Total expenditures are $381,615 and include an estimated $120,000 in heating, ventilation and air conditioning work and an estimated $103,000 to replace the gym floor at Prairie Woods Elementary.

Carlson noted that the HVAC project is not going to be as extensive as the 2007 work at the middle and high school buildings, but rather will include upgrades to the electronic components that control the air-handling systems and cleaning and maintenance of the equipment.

The gym floor to be replaced is the 30-year-old floor that is original to the elementary school.

The capital projects also include $41,343 for replacement of the middle school gym roof, $56,000 for copy machine leases, $25,000 for math textbooks, and $34,627 for resurfacing the driveway to Prairie Woods.

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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