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Paynesville Schools adjusts 2009-10 budget by $59K

PAYNESVILLE -- Paynesville Area Schools will save more $59,855 during the 2009-10 school year after the School Board adjusted next year's budget during its Tuesday meeting.

Superintendent Todd Burlingame said Thursday the board approved a list of budget adjustments recommended by the administration. The district will undergo reductions in 10 funding areas. No programs or staff will be eliminated.

The largest savings will come from adjustments to the family and consumer sciences department and the agricultural education department. Burlingame said the district will reduce teachers' hours as students' demand for the classes has declined. A total of $20,965 will be saved. The Gifted & Talented programs for the district's three schools will also see a reduction in funding, saving the district $11,952.

Other adjustments include the discontinuation of one instructor teaching six classes instead of the standard five; using Central Lakes College in Brainerd as the district's vendor for the honors English program instead of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, as well as an adjustment in staff development funding.

Burlingame, however, said the list of cuts could change by June 30 when the district submits its 2009-10 budget.

Approval of the adjustments comes seven months prior to a referendum in which the district is asking voters to approve a larger operating levy. In late March, the School Board voted to increase the district's levy by $200 for the first two years of a 10-year plan and an additional $200 for the remaining eight years.

Burlingame said the board began discussing plans for a new levy about a year ago. The district's current levy expires in 2013.

Based on the district's 2009 audit, the district has a general fund balance of $1.116 million.

However, the district will finish the 2008-09 school year with a $352,000 budget deficit and a $600,000 budget deficit is expected for 2009-10.