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SF School Board Considers Budget

April 13, 2009, 4:39 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

SF School Board Considers Budget
The biggest district in the state is not immune from the economic recession. At Monday night's meeting, the Sioux Falls School Board will consider $585,000 worth of cuts. 

In a 39-page budget proposal, Superintendent Pam Homan lays out the cuts that would save the school district more than a half million dollars. They are cuts the district hopes will not have an impact on the education the 20,000 students in the district receive.

If the plans go through, one of the biggest changes parents and students would notice is when the school day begins and when the final bell rings.

The district's five middle schools would shift their times by 15 minutes. Students would start the day at nine in the morning and then get back on the bus at 3:45 p.m. That change alone could save more than a quarter million dollars by using buses more efficiently.

The school board is also considering reducing supply budgets for elementary and high schools. Superintendent Pam Homan says schools typically receive supplies based on student numbers, so a $195,000 reduction wouldn't have much of an impact on the day-to-day operations of the 30 schools that would be affected.

The final cut could save the district $109,000 by making changes in staffing.  For instance, teacher's aides could supervise lunch hours instead of teachers.

Homan says all of these cuts are being made in an effort to make the best use of taxpayer money.

Both parents and students will have a chance to give their input on the budget and the proposed cuts. The school board will then be asked to give preliminary approval to the budget, but a final decision won't come until July.

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