SJSD Board of Education Expected to Vote on $7 Million Budget Cuts

The cost-saving proposal calls for closing two elementary schools.

Posted: Dec 11, 2017 11:32 AM
Updated: Dec 11, 2017 11:34 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) St. Joseph School District Board of Education leaders are preparing to make $7 million in budget cuts in light of a failed tax levy increase last month.

The board will decide from two proposals that will cut more than $7 million from the budget. Both proposals call for closing two elementary schools and move sixth graders to middle schools.

The first cost-saving option calls for closing Lake and Humboldt elementary schools. Lake students would move to Hosea while Humboldt students would attend Lindbergh.

Modular units would be added at Lindbergh and Hosea to accommodate the additional students. A community center space would also be renovated into three classrooms at Lindbergh.

The second cost-saving option calls for closing Humboldt and Hyde elementary schools. Humboldt students would attend Lindbergh. Hyde students living north of I-229 would go to Lake while students living south of I-229 would move to Hosea.

Both proposals would see sixth grade students at Lake, Hosea and Hyde move to Spring Garden Middle School. Robidoux Middle School would add sixth graders from Humboldt and Lindbergh.

Modular units would also be added at Lake and Lindbergh to handle the additional students.

Class sizes would move to state standard guidelines in all elementary buildings. According to the district, closing Lake and Humboldt would save more than $2.6 million while closing Hyde and Humboldt would be a cost-saving move of more than $3 million.

Other proposed cuts include:

- A 7-period secondary schedule to save a total of $2,850,000 annually.

- Reduction of contributions to employee health insurance to save $1,260,00 a year.

- Shifting administrative oversight of programs at Hillyard Technical Center resulting in the reduction of 1 administrative position at Hillyard to save $110,000 annually.

- Administrative staff reductions through attrition and reorganization of five positions such as Coordinator of Federal Programs, Director of Data Management, Director of Technology, Administrator at Hillyard and Trades Supervisor to save $530,142.

- Freezing salaries for an annual savings of $1,516,000.

- Reorganize Curriculum Advisor resulting in the reduction of 16 advisors to 5 full-time advisors to save $125,000.

Monday's meeting, which begins with public comment at 5:30 p.m., will be held at the Troester Media Center Conference Room at 3401 Renick.

Nearly 72 percent of voters turned down a proposed property tax increase last month that would have generated an estimated $11.5 million dollars annually for the school district.

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Temperatures started out on the mild side with most areas in the upper 40s and lower 50s. Monday was another warm and windy day with temperatures climbing into the lower 70s. With the dry conditions outdoor burning should be avoided Monday and Tuesday as low humidity and gusty winds continue. Winds will stay breezy over the next few days with wind gusts around 20-30 mph. A more active pattern of weather will settle in for most of this week with our first chance of light rain overnight Tuesday into Wednesday. A better chance for more moderate to heavy rain with possibly a few thunderstorms will move into the area Wednesday night into Thursday with a cold front. That front will stall south of our area late in the week, providing several more chances for rain throughout the rest of the week into the weekend. Temperatures will be a bit cooler after the cold front rolls through with highs back in the 50s.
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