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      District approves closure of Lexington Intermediate

      Facing a $16 million shortfall, the board is forced to make some changes. / Sara Jane Harris

      Lexington One School District Board of Trustees approved closing Lexington Intermediate School doors next school year.

      This, along with other changes, comes after the board continued their discussion on the 2010/2011 general fund operating budget Monday night.

      Facing a $16 million shortfall, the board is forced to make some changes.

      Under the closure, 150 current fourth graders will go to Midway Elementary for fifth grade. One-hundred-thirty-two current fifth graders will move to Lexington Middle School next school year.

      And the teachers affected by the closure of L.I.S. are guaranteed to have a job next year.

      According to school officials the district TMs proposed operating budget is $166,686,481 and includes other changes including:

      -No step increase for employees-Increased student to administrator ratios-Increased class size by increasing student to teacher ratios-Elimination of Grade 2 world language program-Elimination of Grade 5 band and strings program-70 positions cut including teachers, positions at the District Office, an instructional coach (After moving employees to openings created through attrition, 46 employees currently working will not have jobs.)-Five supplemental days cut from the days of Career and Technology Education teachers (from 15 to 10 days)-A furlough of one teacher day and two administrator days-A freeze of the amount the district budgets for local supplements for National Board Certified Teachers (frozen at the 2009"2010 level)-Cuts of 20 percent from district-level department budgets, 20 percent from the supply allocations for schools, 20 percent from the band allocation to high schools, 20 percent from the athletic allocation to high schools, the fine arts allocation for strings at elementary schools, operations, out-of-district travel, and other items-Transfers of allowable costs to capital funds-The use of $5 million in fund balance-An increased athletic participation fee (from $50 to $75 per child per year)-An 8.47 mill increase.

      Board members were presented with options for funding in March.

      And the changes don't come easy for the district.

      The majority of any school district TMs operating budget is used for salaries and related costs," explains Superintendent Karen Woodward. "For Lexington One that is 87 percent of our operating budget. When we are forced by legislative cuts to the state budget and mandated cost increase to make up an almost $16 million shortfall in our budget, obviously then, it affects staffing.

      You can view the presentation and motions for action taken on the Lexington One website.

      A second reading of 2010-2011 budget will be held next Tuesday May 18th at the Lexington School District One Auditorium.