Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

School Board set to give approval to cut administrator posts

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Duneland Superintendent Dirk Baer said the Duneland Schools likely will not have to eliminate any individual program but will cope with state funding cuts through across-the-board reductions.

“Everything’s going to have to take a pinch,” he said. “But no program in and of itself is going to disappear.”

The Duneland School Board will continue its budget discussions at a special meeting set for Tuesday at 6 p.m., at which time the board is expected to pass a resolution giving Baer the authority to reduce administrative staff if necessary.

Under contract language, administrators must be told by Feb. 1 if their position is being eliminated or altered.

Baer would not say which administrative positions might go except that any cuts would likely be in director positions at the various school buildings, not central adminisitration.

Baer said that after working through the budgets for several weeks, he feels confident that no single program will be eliminated. He said he has heard people in the community express concerns that programs such as band or football will be axed or that entire facilities such as the middle school swimming pool will be shut down. But Baer said that while all programs will likely get scaled back to some degree, complete elimination of programs won’t occur.

He also said full-day kindergarten will remain, as will a summer school program.

The Duneland Schools are facing a loss projected at $1.3 million this year in state support, in addition to a 2010 budget shortfall that’s been estimated in the range of $3 million to $4 million.

Baer emphasized that the budget cuts will be carried out in increments over the coming weeks. He said the Duneland Schools expect to see savings in such areas as cutting staff hours, granting staff furloughs, not filling open positions, and cutting back on building use and availability. As one example, he said the middle school swimming pool hours will likely be cut, but the pool will still remain open.

The details of exactly where the cuts will be made will be given in future board meetings as they become final. Baer said he expects Tuesday’s discusison to continue to be mostly of the general nature.

The school board’s agenda also includes budget transfers.

Prior to the public board meeting, the school board will meet in executive session to discuss personnel, pending litigation and collective bargaining. The public meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Administration Center, 601 W. Morgan.





Posted 1/25/2010







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