Plan will slice more than 90 jobs, close one elementary school and cut programs such as fifth-grade band.
Budget cuts approved by the Lakeville school board on Tuesday include the equivalent of 94 jobs and closure of an elementary school.
In a unanimous vote, the board approved a plan to cover a projected two-year budget gap of $15.8 million. The plan calls for belt-tightening to the tune of $6.8 million for the 2011-12 school year.
Elementary art specialists will disappear, along with fifth-grade band and many "Early Bird" classes offered to high school students. One of the district's nine elementary schools will close; the building will be chosen next month. To save money on busing, start and end times at some schools will change.
Although public feedback over the past month led to numerous changes, the plan thrilled no one. Even at Tuesday's meeting, several residents urged the board to reconsider cuts to music and art.
"This is nothing anybody wants," said Superintendent Gary Amoroso. "We have a fiscal reality that needs to be addressed."
Lakeville schools have been pressured by the state's continuing budget woes, as well as voter rejection of a proposed local tax increase. The board's plan assumes that state leaders will not cut K-12 education funding this year. If they do, "We must revisit this process and go even deeper with adjustments," Amoroso said.
Several aspects of the budget-trimming plan changed over the past few weeks.
Board members agreed to use federal Jobs Bill funding to save the equivalent of 17 positions. That one-time money was not committed to a specific purpose in the first draft of Amoroso's budget cuts.
They also decided to reap additional savings by closing a school this year instead of next year. They tweaked middle school cuts, bringing back some funding for industrial technology and music by slicing other subjects.
The board also raised fees to avoid cutting some sports and activities. Amoroso's initial proposal would have eliminated high school gymnastics, lacrosse, golf and debate, among others -- a prospect that drew upset students and parents to board meetings. Instead, high school hockey players will pay $600, for example, up from $280 this year. Most other high school athletes will be charged increased fees ranging from $275 to $440.
Sarah Lemagie • 952-882-9016