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Milford Beacon
  • Milford School District considers budget cuts

  • Milford School District Board of Education members are currently reviewing budget cuts proposals made by the district superintendent, including cuts to staffing, athletics and each department within the district, to supplement the district’s yearly $2.1 million operating budget.
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  • The Milford School District Board of Education is currently reviewing a variety of budget cuts to offset the district’s yearly operating budget.
    Board members are currently reviewing budget cuts proposals made by the district superintendent, including cuts to staffing, athletics and each department within the district, to supplement the district’s yearly $2.1 million operating budget.
    Milford School District’s recent referendum, which sought local funds for both the demolition and rebuild of the middle school as well as funding for its $2.1 operating budget, failed on both fronts on March 26.
    During the first regular monthly meeting since the failed referendum, Milford School District Superintendent Phyllis Kohel outlined the possible areas for cuts for board members to review before the next meeting at the end of May.
    Kohel proposed that the district could cut 10 percent, 15 percent or 20 percent across the board on the budget, which would result in proposed savings of $287,853, $448,000 and $935,194, respectively.
    “However, it’s very difficult to do just a flat cut because there are some areas that couldn’t sustain,” she said, highlighting building budgets as one area that may not be able to survive a 10 to 20 percent budget cut.
    She also proposed cutting the additional security resource officer positions to two, which would save $100,000 per year. Currently, only one SRO is at the district, and that officer is funded through the Milford Police Department.
    Cutting limited contracts, including 23 athletic positions, four instructional positions and three complete athletic programs was another savings option presented by Kohel, for a savings of approximately $81,103 per year, including some benefits that would also be eliminated.
    Kohel also proposed that the board review the possibility of not renewing contracts for staff from the district office level to the paraprofessional level for additional savings.
    “We’re forced to make some very serious decisions here. We’re forced to make some very serious cuts,” she said. “We’ve got about two years of being able to maintain the district, but that money is not going to last if we can’t find a way to supplement it.”
    If the district does not find areas to cut funding or generate additional revenue, the current $4.1 million in reserves will be exhausted by the end of the 2015-2016 school year, with $26,000 left, Kohel explained.
    “We cannot continue to maintain a balanced budget without using our reserves,” Kohel said at the meeting. “With no budget cuts anywhere, and with the amount currently in our reserves, we can run undtil the end of the 2015-2016 school year.
    Kohel also mentioned the possibility of going for another referendum, but only for middle school funds, which would have to be scheduled before the district’s Certificate of Need expires at the end of October.
    Page 2 of 2 - Possible sources of income for the district include the impending auction sale of a home on a property owned by the district near Evelyn L. Morris Early Childhood Center. Kohel said the sale could generate $130,000.
    Kohel also proposed the possibility of a “pay to play” option for all sports. According to the number of students participating in sports this year, a $50 fee per player would equal $32,500 in revenue for the district in one school year.
    “It’s another area you can look at as a potential income for the district,” Kohel said.
    The board will reconvene to discuss possible budget cuts and pursuing another referendum in the next regularly scheduled meeting in the Milford Middle School annex building at 7 p.m. on May 19.
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