Salem High Superintendent Recommends No Extra Curricular Cuts For Next YearSalem Community High School Superintendent Brad Detering is recommending the school board hold off on making any cuts to non-certified staff and extra-curricular programs. However, Detering says next year could be rough if the state continues to underfund education.
"The recommendation was to try and continue on the path we have, not making any major cuts and not really making any major changes. We're going to try and extend this out for another year. The district will probably be in deficit spending at the end of this fiscal year. There will probably be another deficit year we'll be looking at next year. If it continues on this path, there will probably have to be some fairly deep cuts both in staff, in programs and things offered to students," said Detering.
The board earlier agreed not to replace four teachers who are retiring at the end of the year to cut expenses. The board did hire Hillary Chappell to teach English next year. She had been a long term substitute the second semester, replacing Math Teacher John Thomas who retired at the semester break.
While there isn't any ray of hope of more state money, Detering says the district has done well on reducing spending. He anticipates they could finish the year $300,000 under budget in the education fund. However, that will likely still leave a more than $300,000 deficit on June 30th.
One area Detering says the board may have to spend money is on a bar code system for cafeteria payments. An audit of the cafeteria program resulted in a finding of 'discrimination' because it is clear at the check out area who is paying for their food and who receives free and reduced lunch prices. Detering says the new system would result in no money being collected at the register, with those who have to pay for lunch having the money taken out of a pre-paid account. He warned the system would be costly. Detering estimates a $6,000 initial set up fee for the software and $4,000 to $6,000 for the equipment at the point of sale. There would also be an ongoing expense of $500 a year for the software.
Assistant Principal Kelly Conklin reported attendance last month was 95%. That's up from last year. Conklin and several board members feel juniors now have a big incentive to come to school everyday because they can avoid having to take finals.
Several end of school dates were announced. Prom will be the night of Friday, May 3rd. The senior awards program will be at seven Tuesday night, May 7th, at 7 pm. The spring musical will be at seven pm on Tuesday, May 14th. Baccalaureate services for graduating seniors will be on Wednesday, May 15th, at 7:00 pm at the Salem Assembly of God Church. High School graduation will be Sunday, May 19th, at two pm in B.E. Gumm Gym. The final day of school for students will be Wednesday, May 22nd.
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