By Kim D. Welch
Over the past few months, the Southern Door Board of Education (BOE) spent many hours going through the budget looking for ways to either reduce spending or increase revenues. In the end, the board chose to raise Athletic Fees for an anticipated $12,500 increase in revenues and eliminated freshman level sports for an anticipated savings of $12,354.00. They increased registration, parking fees, instituted a fee structure for “Athletic Use” of the school’s facilities and decided to charge parents the cost of field trips. Also as part of that process, there was a staff restructuring and other item to get to a number closer to having a balanced budget. With all of the information that was presented at the May 20th Board meeting, there was still a deficit balance showing of just under $120,000.00 according to the presentation but then later a posted deficit just under $100,000.00 because an item was missed.
At the Monday, June 24th Board meeting, the BOE voted against the recommendation of the finance committee, which would have converted all employees and their costs to food service provider Aviand’s. This action would have given the food service fund a slight surplus of about $4,000.00.
Instead, they voted to spend an additional $33,289 to $39,822 depending on the status of a possible retiree, on food service labor, moving the deficit budget number up to just under $140,000.00.
That vote contradicts the original budget layout as presented at the May 20th meeting, which was to make food service self- sustaining on the recommendation of the finance committee and the BOE.
It is hard to believe that so much time and effort was spent milling through fees and other student costs to either generate $12,500 of revenue and cut $12,354 in costs effecting, hundreds of students, families, and taxpayers only to turn around and spend almost $40,000 extra for food service. Currently the school will be paying wages and benefits to its food service workers over 2.5 times the amount that would be paid in the normal market for such services.
Therefore certain members of the your SD BOE felt it was more important to once again place the burden of learning and being involved in school activities on the students, their families, and the taxpayers. They are stating that it would be a better use of funds to pay more than twice the market rate for certain non-educational services than being able to keep a teacher in a classroom.
Kim D. Welch
Southern Door Taxpayer