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Milford Beacon
  • Board considers 20-percent cut, sports eliminations

  • The end of the Milford School District's 2013-2014 fiscal year is approaching, and the Board of Education is considering a 20-percent cut to the majority of its budget, as well as the possible elimination of three sports, some staffing, programs and limited contracts.
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  • The end of the Milford School District’s 2013-2014 fiscal year is approaching, and the Board of Education is considering a 20-percent cut to the majority of its budget, as well as the possible elimination of three sports, some staffing, programs and limited contracts.
    The district is facing the decision of serious budget cuts after a referendum requesting a tax increase for local funds to supplement $2.1 million in operating expenses failed on March 26.
     
    During the board’s monthly meeting in April, Milford School District Superintendent Phyllis Kohel proposed a variety of options, from a 10- to 20-percent cut, property sales, school resource officer eliminations and limited contract cuts.
    During Monday night’s meeting, the board was presented with the option to cut 20-percent of the district’s budget, excluding energy costs, transportation costs, current contractual obligations and special services, like homebound instruction.
    Kohel’s original budget cut proposal predicted a savings of $935,194 for a flat 20-percent budget cut, but with the added exceptions discussed during Monday night’s meeting, a 20-percent cut would only net $561,336.89.
    Cutting limited contracts, including 23 athletic positions, four instructional positions and three complete athletic programs was another savings option presented by Kohel in April, which would net a total savings of $81,103 per year, including some benefits that would also be eliminated.
    Kohel announced on Monday night that the three possible athletic programs up for elimination are winter track, swimming and competition cheerleading, which would save a $7,000, $16,000 and $6,500 per year, respectively.
    “We’re just looking at programs we could eliminate and offer a type of alternative for students,” Kohel said.
    The board is also considering the elimination of an additional school resource officer, which would save the district $100,000 per year per officer.
    A shortfall also came from the auction sale of the district’s Lincoln property, which netted $103,000 instead of the expected $130,000.
    For additional income, the board is considering a “pay to play” option for all sports. According to the number of student athletes this year, a $50 fee per player would equal $32,500 in revenue for the district in one school year, Kohel said.
    If the district continues its current spending trends, the $4.4 million in reserves will be exhausted by the end of the 2015-2016 school year, with a negative balance of $3,000.
    The board is still reviewing the proposed cuts, which would take effect July 1, which marks the beginning of the 2014-2015 fiscal year. An active vote on the budget is expected during the board’s June 23 monthly meeting.

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