Archive for Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eudora district seeks patron priorities

October 13, 2010

A community forum in Eudora on Tuesday night addressed budgetary concerns for its schools. The Eudora school district wanted to collect opinions from community members about what matters most to them in case further budget cuts become necessary.

“We’re facing a situation regardless of what happens at the state level where we will probably have to make some further cuts for next year’s budget,” said Superintendent Don Grosdidier.

The district received a $2 million, two-year payment in new facilities money from the state after completing Eudora Elementary School last year. The district will use up the last $1 million at the end of this year.

In addition to that drop in funding, base state aid per pupil has declined, resulting in a large loss of revenue for Eudora schools. That state aid currently stands at $4,012 per pupil — down from $4,433 in fall 2008. The Eudora school district has lost about $870,000 from these cuts, forcing the cuts of several staff positions and cancellations of field trips, among other things.

“We are concerned that there could be a further cut to base state aid per pupil,” Grosdidier said. “That, along with our other problem with lost new facilities money, puts us in a serious situation.”

Those in attendance at the forum gathered in groups to discuss issues such as maintaining small class sizes and developing more early-childhood education. This information will be collected in a report to the school board, showing what matters most to the community.

“Our kids are achieving excellent statuses, and that really needs to be something that we can continue for our children,” said Julia Beets, a mother of a second- and a 10th-grader in Eudora schools. “They deserve it.”

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