MOUNT VERNON — As promised at the last meeting, the Mount Vernon Board of Education on Monday announced an additional $1.3 million in cuts that will be made if the emergency 5.6-mill levy fails in May.
When board members emerged from an hour-long executive session, President Dr. Margie Bennett read the list of cuts. They include all extra-curricular and co-curricular activities (activities that take place outside of school hours), six teaching positions, one administrator and two classified positions. In addition, savings will come from up to 13 retirements and resignations in which experienced, and therefore more highly-paid, will be replaced with persons paid at a lower rate.
Superintendent Steve Short said trimming six teaching positions will save $290,000, but he did not want to say yet which positions will be cut.
“They need to hear from me before they read it in the newspaper,” he said.
He also explained that some of the cuts will be determined by class sizes as determined by enrollment.
“If the levy passes, these cuts will not be necessary,” Bennett said, adding that if it passes, “we will also reinstate busing.”
Board members acknowledged that they had wrestled with the idea of finding ways to fund some sports programs, but decided they needed to support all of them or none of them.
Short said increasing “pay to play” levels was not discussed.
The board noted that the libraries took no additional hits in these cuts. Bennett said the libraries are needed to support the educational program and “have already been cut as much as we could.”
Several other items were also before the board, including receipt of a $5,000 grant for libraries from the Community Foundation of Mount Vernon & Knox County, and the donation of 25 copies of Merriam-Webster’s Rhyming Dictionary to Mrs. Krabill’s class.
Overnight trips by Dan Emmett fifth-graders to Heartland Camp at Marengo and of Columbia and Twin Oak Elementary fifth-graders to Camp Ohio were approved. These trips are paid for by students and the PTO, not school funds.
Three retirements were approved: Lynn Apple, computer applications and business law teacher at the high school, effective May 31; David Carter, guidance counselor at the high school, effective June 30; and Brian Gastin, English teacher at the high school, effective May 31.
The calendar for the 2013-14 year was approved. Students will begin classes Aug. 20 and the year will end May 30.
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