Touchet School Board approves budget cuts


TOUCHET -- Compared to the last few board meetings, Wednesday night was subdued. About 20 people attended the meeting, where the board reviewed, then unanimously approved an austere budget for 2010-2011.

With $223,358 fewer dollars to work with in the coming year, budget cuts include elimination of middle school sports, five fewer teachers, four fewer classified employees, a half-time superintendent and an unpaid athletic director.

Those in attendance expressed concerns about loss of the middle school sports programs, but Dawn Kessler said the sports program should be scrutinized further for reductions.

"I still think we need to take a hard, hard look at sports," she said.

Board member Michael McCubbins said he had talked to a lot of people who say "sports is what Touchet is."

The district spent $170,000 on sports last year, with much of that being travel, Superintendent Dan McDonald said. Another large cost is referees, which totaled $19,000 for the year.

"The bottom line is we're not going to be changing revenue," in the overall budget, McDonald said.

Revenue reductions between the current school year and the coming year include $169,112 less in federal special purpose funds; $21,756 in state special purpose funds, and $41,500 in local support nontax funds.

A lower anticipated enrollment means the new budget is based on 278 full-time equivalent students, compared for 296 for the current year.

To help make up the shortfall, four full-time teachers and one part-time teacher were not rehired for the coming year. They are math teacher Tabitha Anderson, English and drama teacher Ki Vega, middle school math and science teacher Melissa Holecek, fifth-grade teacher Nancy Morgan-Boch, and PE and skills class teacher Missy McKowen.

Other cuts include:

Reduced classified hours in the library, food service and maintnance.

No stipends for athletic director, event/activity set-up, and concessions.

Half stipends for extra duty for extra duty and FFA.

Carrie Chicken can be reached at or 522-5289.


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