budget decisions scheduled at school board meeting
Several budget reduction items were scheduled for decisions during the Park City District board meeting. Already decided, the district will schedule 14 fewer teachers for the 2007-08 school year. The public comment session was expected to draw concerned teachers and parents.
Prior to the meeting, acting superintendent Tom Van Gorder said that the district wants to "float the ratio back up to the district’s standard 23 to 1" of students to teachers, currently between 17 and 19-to-one, or a reduction of approximately two teachers per school. To bring the ratio up to 23, while also taking into consideration a projected slightly lower enrollment would require 14 fewer teachers, based on the projections of district business administrator Patty Murphy, Van Gorder said. The teacher reduction would result in a cost savings to the district. "We are hoping this will happen through attrition," Van Gorder said. He added that judging from attrition in past years, that would likely be the case.
The public comment session was scheduled for one hour, normally given 15 minutes, in anticipation of teachers and parents expressing concerns over recommended budget cuts.
Scheduled on the Board of Education agenda for the 20th, were decisions on several recommendations made earlier by the budget committee formed in the fall of 2006 to find ways to cut district costs. But in this case the three levies up for consideration, the 10 Percent of Basic Levy, the Reading Levy and the Recreation Levy, if approved, would actually generate additional income through a levy of higher property taxes.
District secretary Nancy Scott said that budget decisions should be made by the end of April so the budget can be prepared by June 19.
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The Jordanelle Reservoir is at about 67% of its capacity, not the lowest its been but a level that officials say is concerning.