Belgrade School District plans personnel cuts after two failed levies
Belgrade School Superintendent Candy Lubansky wraps up some last minute business before taking time to speak with me.
She's been busy talking with the board to figure out how to make things work with reduced resources.
"It's going to be really hard for people," says Lubansky.
Lubansky tells me they're set to reduce elementary school personnel by one administrator. Plus, another nine positions they'll either not replace or reduce hours.
She tells me it will impact all of the elementary schools.
"We will have fewer playground aides, we will have fewer lunchroom aides, fewer custodians," explains Lubansky.
And fewer administrators so they can pool their resources into teachers and protect classroom size.
"The most expensive part of running any business is the personnel costs so, that's our first area," Lubansky says.
But they're also looking transportation for savings and expenditures, everything from printing costs and paper use to conserving energy.
"The thing that we do hope is that we don't have a cold winter because heating costs could compromise our budget," says Lubansky.
I spoke to one retired Belgrade school employee who says she thinks the district should take a second look at which positions to cut.
Leila Wagoner worked for the district as a transportation coordinator and bus driver for almost 40 years.
She says many of the positions the district looks to cut are the foundation of the school.
"They're the ones that work with the students. They're the ones that, when the teachers need to go to lunch, they have to have someone there like the playground aides," explains Wagoner.
Wagoner also tells me she believes school leaders should be extra careful about making changes to transportation and says she thinks it should be left alone.
"That bus driver is the person that's going to help shape their day or the end of their day," says Wagoner.
Leaders like Lubansky say everyone's role will be revisited as will the way they do business in the district.
She adds she's talked to employees and is encouraged by positive attitudes.
Lubansky also tells me it will be especially difficult opening a new school this year because of all of the unknowns that come along with it.
They'll have to submit their final budget for board approval by August 25th.