Herald Journal - Enterprise Dispatch - Delano Herald Journal
Lester Prairie Schools looking at painful budget cuts

February 23, 2009

By Linda Scherer
Staff Writer

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – Painful cuts are proposed for the Lester Prairie School District, with the board looking for public input about where to cut and how much. A detailed breakdown of suggested cuts was offered by Supt. Greg East. To see a schedule of lost revenue, click here. A Herald Journal online poll is available; please click here.

A special meeting has been set for 7 p.m. Monday, March 2 in the Lester Prairie School gym to discuss a lengthy list (see second boxed area) of possible budget reductions to be made. Contact school board members to offer suggestions on budget cuts (click here).

At its January meeting, the school board originally requested Lester Prairie School Superintendent Greg East review programs and staffing positions for cuts that might be necessary depending on legislative action in May.

“All programs and positions and every area of the budget will be reviewed for possible ways to save,” East said. “A broad spectrum of possibilities will be brought to the board. Decisions will have to be made and they will not be easy decisions, but will be difficult ones to make.”

Not only did East talk about the state aid to education cuts, but he included Lester Prairie’s declining enrollment, which he estimated at the January meeting, to be down by 16 students resulting in a loss of revenue of $100,00.

After looking at the statistics, East is estimating a total loss of 31 students through the year 2010, and a loss in revenue of more than $300,000.

East presented the board with a three-tiered estimate of lost revenue totaling $600,233 at February’s school board meeting.

Tier I reduced revenue was based on declining student enrollment, with reductions estimated at $345,165.

Tiers II and III indicates the lost revenue based on a total of 10 percent loss in general aid revenue from the state. Tier II is projecting loss of state aid at 5 percent, or $127,534, and Tier III projects another 5 percent cut in state aid, or an additional $127,534.

Also included was a list of suggested budget cuts totaling $426,472.

East asked the school board to look over his proposed reductions and to get back to him by March 9 so he will be able to present the board with the 2009-10 budget cuts at the Monday, March 16 school board meeting.

School Board Member Joe Miller said at the last board meeting that another levy might bring in additional funds, but the money would not come into the school as revenue for another year.

Related links:
To see a previous board article, click here.


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