Hayden School Board to hear survey results | CraigDailyPress.com

Hayden School Board to hear survey results

Officials to consider options for next year’s budget cuts

Zach Fridell

— The question is not if cuts will be made next year, but where the money will be taken from as the Hayden School District predicts a 10 percent cut in state funding. To prepare for the cuts at a Hayden School Board meeting next week, the board will meet at 5 p.m. today to discuss the results of a community survey and lay the outline for budget reductions.

During the work session, Hayden High School Principal Troy Zabel will present the results of a communitywide survey the district conducted about budget priorities. Zabel said 1,200 surveys were sent to registered voters and mailbox holders in the district and that 183 were returned. A similar survey, with additional questions, also was given to 75 staff members, with 53 returned.

The topics focused on where the money goes in the school district, including extracurricular activities, support services such as nursing and food services, and even the overall administrative structure of the district. Zabel said the survey also asked residents to rank how they felt about alternative funding sources for the district, including a possible mill levy tax that would benefit the school.

The school expects a funding decrease of about $495,000.

Zabel has shared the results of the survey with representatives at each school in the district but will present the information to the School Board for the first time tonight, along with recommendations from the administrative team.

The survey was designed by a special budget committee, with representatives from each group within the schools — teachers, secretaries, para-professional educators and others.

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Members of the public will be allowed to voice opinions at tonight's meeting, but School Board President Brian Hoza and Superintendent Greg Rockhold said that isn't the focus of the meeting.

"We're hoping most of the feedback and points of view have been shared through the survey, and we're going to be fairly concise about additional feedback to make sure we have time to look at the full landscape of the budget for the next year," Hoza said.

No formal decisions will be made at the work session, and no action will be taken, but the basic ideas will form the action at the March 17 meeting.

If you go

The Hayden School Board will hold a work session at 5 p.m. today in the School Board Meeting Room to discuss options for a 10 percent reduction in state money expected next year. The board will hear results from a survey completed by more than 230 people but will not take any action.

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