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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • District seeks public input on potential cuts

  • As a finance committee works to identify reductions to the Leavenworth school district's budget, members of the public have a chance to shape the district's decision.
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    • Public feedback:
      Residents can take an online survey to offer suggestions about cuts for the 2014-15 budget for Leavenworth public schools. A finance committee has been tasked with identifying more than...
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      Public feedback:
      Residents can take an online survey to offer suggestions about cuts for the 2014-15 budget for Leavenworth public schools. A finance committee has been tasked with identifying more than $1 million in cuts for the upcoming school year.
      The survey can be found at the school district's website, www.usd453.org.
      The survey has two questions:
      • What areas should be identified for budget reduction?
      • What areas/programs should not be impacted by budget reductions?
      People taking the survey also are asked to identify themselves as parents or guardians, community members who have no children enrolled in Leavenworth public schools, or other.
       
  • As a finance committee works to identify reductions to the Leavenworth school district's budget, members of the public have a chance to shape the district's decision.
    A short public survey regarding the school district's budget has been posted on the district's website since Jan. 3.
    As of Wednesday, only four people have completed the survey, said Doug Darling, a Leavenworth School Board member and finance committee chairman.
    He said the public may have good ideas that haven't occurred to finance committee members.
    "We can't think of everything," he said.
    He said even suggestions for $500 cuts are valuable because those type of cuts can add up.
    The finance committee began meeting last month. The committee includes three School Board members, as well as principals, teachers and other district staff members.
    The committee already has identified about $1.19 million in potential cuts for the 2014-15 budget, but Darling said that figure is based on rough numbers.
    Cuts identified so far are in the areas of student and instructional support, administration and operations and maintenance.
    The district's administration has identified the need for as much as $1.36 million in cuts because of potential increases in expenses during the next school year. Additional expenses include increases in insurance costs, as well as a loss of money that may result from the dissolution of the Leavenworth County Special Education Cooperative.
    The finance committee is scheduled to present its recommendations to the School Board on Feb. 19. The committee's next meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Leavenworth district's administrative office, 200 N. Fourth St.
    The public survey asks two questions.
    The first question asks for areas that should be identified for budget reductions. The second question asks for areas or programs that should be protected from cuts.
    "It's purely anonymous," Darling said.
    District employees also were asked to take surveys. More than 150 employees of the district have responded.
    The public survey can be found on the school district's website, www.usd453.org.
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