Budget cuts, calendar at issue | CraigDailyPress.com

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Budget cuts, calendar at issue

If you go

What: School District Accountability Committee meeting

When: 6 p.m. tonight

Where: Yampa Building, 775 Yampa Ave.

The meeting is open to the public. For more information, call 824-3268.

At its monthly meeting tonight, the Moffat County School District Accountability Committee will be looking for parent and community feedback on two current issues that will affect the 2010-11 school year and beyond.

The committee, which meets at 6 p.m. at the district administration building, 775 Yampa Ave., will discuss the upcoming school calendar and begin circulating information on proposed budget cuts for next year.

The committee includes parents, community members and superintendent Joe Petrone.

The calendar, which was changed three years ago to accommodate school construction in the summers, is up for review this year.

The proposed changes, which include a longer school year, slightly shorter days and a later spring break, will be voted on at the Feb. 25 School Board meeting.

Petrone said the district is looking for final input on the current proposed calendar, which is available for viewing at craigdailypress.com.

The proposed calendar also includes collaboration time for teachers twice a month, which would result in early release every other Monday.

After the calendar discussion, the district will release to the public a first draft of proposed budget cuts.

Due to a 7.75 percent decrease in state funding and increased expenses, the school district needs to cut at least $1.2 million from its $20 million budget.

About $800,000 more in cuts are possible because of rising insurance premiums and payouts for Public Employee Retirement Association benefits for teachers.

The district is in the process of bidding out the insurance contract to try and keep the cost increase to a minimum.

Still, cuts could amount to $2 million, or 10 percent of the total budget.

Petrone said he wants to include parents, teachers and community members in the discussions that will ultimately lead to a final, balanced budget by June.