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Officials continue to debate cuts for NLS

NEW LONDON -- The New London-Spicer School Board continues to work through budget reductions for the 2010-11 school year.

At the regular meeting Monday, the board also accepted two letters of retirement that will help the district make the reductions without cutting teacher jobs, according to Superintendent Paul Carlson. Letters of retirement from Deborah Busta, high school business teacher for 29 years, and William Zanin, counselor for 24 years, were accepted, Carlson said.

Cutting the counselor position to half a full-time equivalent position, a savings of $35,250, is included in a list of $268,590 in budget cuts reviewed by the board at the meeting.

The list includes cuts of $105,100 by eliminating the assistant principal job, $40,000 by replacing the retiring business manager, $31,400 by realigning the secretarial staff and $47,000 in transportation savings by cutting two days of school, as agreed to in the district's teachers' contract, and by reducing bus routes from 16 to 15.

The district would also raise extra-curricular fees to generate $9,850 in revenue.

The board and administration will continue to work on how the district could reduce the number of bus routes, Carlson said. The district reduced the number of bus routes from 18 to 16 several years ago, he said, by distributing the students from the eliminated routes onto five other routes. However, this time, it is likely that all the district's bus routes will need to be revamped if the one route is eliminated. The district also needs to take declining enrollment into consideration, he said.

"Based on the enrollment numbers, this may be a good time (to rework the routes)," he said.

The district has about 100 fewer students now as opposed to the last route change, with about one-third of students riding the bus, for about 30 fewer students needing bus transportation.

The board is expected to take action on the cuts at the April 12 board meeting.

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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