Budget again will dominate USD 489 board meeting
A new Hays USD 489 Board of Education member is expected to be appointed next week — and will be seated in time to take part in discussions of a looming budget crisis.
The board will hear from each of the six applicants for a board seat vacated by Darren Schumacher. Candidates who have submitted their applications include announced earlier this week were Jerald Braun, Mandy Fox, Patrick Scott, Kris Munsch, Sarah Rankin and Luke Oborny have thrown their names in for consideration. Applicants have until Friday to apply for the vacancy. After the presentations, a new member will be appointed by the board and immediately be seated.
The district has several measures on the table to both cut costs and increase revenue, actions designed to erase a 2014-15 budget that is nearly $1.4 million in the red. Those measures, which range from a tax increase to increased enrollment fees, are scheduled to be discussed at Monday’s board meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Rockwell Administration Center.
According to the USD 489 AGENDA, the district is considering just more than $1.4 million in budget reductions — the largest being a $973,000 reduction in labor expense. The equivalent of nearly 20 positions are expected to be cut in the coming school year, either through attrition, resignations and non-renewals. Thirteen employees already have been informed their contracts are not expected to be renewed for the coming year.
Fee increases also have been proposed, with just more than $100,000 in additional revenue being created by a $150 bus fee for students living within 2.5 miles of their school and increasing the workbook/materials fee from $100 to $130.
With an expected decrease of $33,000 in state aid caused by the recent school funding bill, the district would cut its deficit to $13,250 if all of the proposals were approved by the board.