Board briefed on budget cuts response
The De Soto USD 232 Board of Education was briefed Monday on the district's response to the most recent state budget cuts, an estimated $2 million reduction.
Mark Schmidt, district director of human resources, outlined areas where the district could realize savings. Ideas included transferring maintenance and selected contracted service salaries to the capital outlay fund.
The district could also take comprehensive evaluations of district and building staffing levels, which would include reducing overtime work, exploring early retirement options, reducing staff through attrition and limiting hiring.
Superintendent Ron Wimmer said the situation was serious for the district.
"We have to deal with the reductions that we can for this year," he said. "In January, we'll have to start talking about maintaining our financial viability for next year."
No reduction decisions were made at Monday's meeting, and the district will continue to explore reduction measures.
In other business, the Board
• Approved contracting with Norris & Keplinger, L.L.C., to provide legal counsel for the district. Mike Norris will provide counsel for $195 per hour, with an additional $65 per hour is a legal assistant is used. The contract with Norris & Keplinger will begin Jan. 15, 2010. The board will give a 30-day notice to current counsel Lathrop & Gage, LC.
• Approved the implementation of advanced placement and pre-advanced placement courses for the districts middle and high schools. New AP and pre-AP courses will begin in the fall 2010.
*Approved a recommendation by the Mize Site Council for the mascot and school colors for Belmont Elementary School. The district’s seventh elementary, which opens in August 2010, will be the known as the Bulldogs. The colors for the school will be purple and gold.