FACING BUDGET CRUNCH, ELGIN SCHOOLS MAKE CUTS

June 15, 2001 11:00 pm

ELGIN The Elgin School Board has voted to trim five teaching positions and eliminate one custodial position.

The cuts are part of a $100,000 budget reduction package the board approved Thursday. The school district will have a budget of about $3.1 million in 2001-2002, $100,000 less than its 2000-2001 budget.

The elimination of the custodian position at Stella Mayfield Elementary School takes effect Oct. 1. However, there will not be a

layoff since a custodian is retiring on Oct. 1.

Following are the reductions made for teaching positions:

The school districts full-time music teacher position is being cut to half time.

Elgins half-time art teaching position for high school and middle school is being trimmed to a quarter-time position. The reduction means that art instruction will be limited to two courses at the high school.

The high schools full-time industrial arts teaching position is being trimmed to a .7 position.

The school board is also reducing the class load of two teachers who have retired and will teach part time next year. The teachers were scheduled to teach two classes a day. Their load has been cut to one class a day.

The school board is also reducing costs by cutting capital expenses. For example, funding budgeted for the replacement of computers and

new teaching supplies is being

eliminated.

Elgins budget problems have been brought on by numerous factors. They include declining enrollment and unexpected expenses.

The school districts enrollment dropped by 20 over the course of the year to 450. Over the past two years, the school district has lost at least 35 students.

Enrollment is vital to funding because school districts receive about $5,000 per year from the state per student.

Elgin School District Superintendent Larry Christman said that reducing the budget has been painful.

This is a terrible way to end the year, Christman said.

He said that the way Oregons schools are funded is the problem. School districts are dependent upon the state for almost all of their funding.

We now have to build our budget based on what we have instead of what is needed, Christman said.

He said that the reductions were particularly difficult to make because the Elgin School District has an outstanding staff.