Niles schools seek to trim $1 million from budget

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Doug Law, Niles Community Schools superintendent, gave school board members a rundown of suggested budget cuts for 2003-2004 at a school board agenda meeting Monday.
He said the school district is planning to cut next year's school district expenses by $1 million.
The superintendent said the cuts are necessary to make up for a predicted $600,000 drop in revenue.
In addition, the new budget will draw $335,000 from the school district's fund balance to balance next year's budget, he said.
That will leave the school district's fund equity at $2 million at the end of next school year, he said.
Subsequent to Law's presentation, the board unanimously voted to adopt the recommendations at the next school board meeting on June 16.
The Board Finance Committee has reviewed the budgets.
Law said next year's $600,000 revenue-drop is due mainly to a projected decline in enrollment and a cut in state funds for Adult Education and the Gifted and Talented program.
The tax limitation amendment to the Michigan Constitution, commonly known as the Headlee amendment, protects Michigan taxpayers against excessive state and local taxation.
Law said expenses cut from the 2002-03 that will affect next year's budget, include trimming all supply budgets by five to 10 per cent; reducing Athletic and Curriculum budgets by 10 per cent; reducing summer hours for staff and reducing the capital projects budget by 20 per cent.
Other expenses that will be cut include reducing support personnel, including elimination of two full-time custodial positions and reducing two other custodial positions from full-time to five hours, Law said.
Law said the school district will also try to save money by combining some of the school districts' bus routes.
Law, however, said if it hadn't been for the savings the school district made from the early retirement incentive and the recent privatization of the school district's food service operation, the district would have had to cut an additional $300,000.
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