(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District's Board of Education was presented with a new school closing plan that targets Hyde Elementary for closure along with Humboldt at a work session Thursday evening,
A previous plan discussed last week included Lake Contrary instead of Hyde.
The board is in the process of making major cuts to next year's budget. They need to trim anywhere from $7-8.5 million for the 2018-19 school year.
School closures are at the top of the list. Administrators say that two schools closing would save anywhere from $2.6-3 million yearly.
Board members say that after initially preferring the closure of Lake Contrary over Hyde, they got some more information that they believe might make it more economical to select Hyde.
"Hyde is a much older building," said board member Lori Prussman. "My child went there K-6 and I worked there 11 years. I don't have any sentimentality toward the building because ultimately both of them need to be closed.
A long-range school plan has the district eventually reducing the number of grade schools from 16 to 12.
The school closures are part of an extensive list of possible cuts the board of education is looking at. Other potential cuts include reducing a number of full-time staff down to part-time, cuts in administration, an elimination of middle school athletics and a pay-to-play option for high school athletes.
Before making cuts, board members will need to determine whether they plan on pay increases for staff next year or a salary freeze.
Should they give staff raises, they will need to cut an additional $1.5 million.
Board members will make their final decision on cuts at a meeting next Monday.