Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Jack McFarlane
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Moose Lake School's admin to recommend budget cuts


February 20, 2020

Bethany Helwig

The Moose Lake school board gathered on Tuesday evening, February 11 to discuss several items and resolutions.

One resolution that was approved, which they do every year, directed the administration to make recommendations for reductions in programs and positions. About $135,000 is needed in upcoming cuts. Possible cuts were not discussed but several were listed including: reducing math by .25 ($18,800), Chromebook insurance ($10,000), Special Ed Para ($24,800), and a speech contract ($13,500), among others.

The board discussed the possibility of changing the 2021 graduation date, this time with input from the community. Vicki Radzak and Allysha Sample put out a survey to parents and teachers to get their input on changing the 2021 graduation date from Sunday on Memorial Day weekend, to a possibly more accommodating time for people. The staff that was interviewed supported moving the date by a large margin, while parents interviewed also preferred a different day but less overwhelmingly so.

The board discussed several possible dates for graduation, and the potential ramifications of those dates. "The other option is doing it [the] Thursday of Memorial Day weekend," said board member Julie Peterson. "So you just make it a four day weekend instead of a three."

Superintendent Indihar added, "Friday might be better than Thursday, but maybe not."

Some of the problems that arise are spring sports and activities going on, making it more difficult to find an open date that works for everybody. After deliberation on various issues that could crop up with the new dates, the board agreed to pick a date at a later time.

The board thanked and accepted the retirements of Karen Osborne and Priscilla Heimbruch effective May 29, 2020.

Superintendent Indihar proposed to the board that it might be more cost effective in the long term to buy school buses instead of leasing them, which is currently what the school is doing. The school is looking at about a $180,000 budget for leasing buses. "My proposal to you is gonna be, if I can buy buses for less than $180,000, you know, for the nine buses, I would highly recommend we buy buses," he said. "We were in a situation a long time ago where we had to lease them."

Indihar mentioned he had to finalize the numbers and get the total cost on the buses.

The board approved the resolution allowing the superintendent to purchase buses if the payments are less than the current leasing buses budget.

Sixth grader Brianna Habermann won the Geography Bee. Eighth grader Evelyn Johnson finished second, and seventh grader Ryleigh Sickler placed third.

The next regular board meeting is Monday, March 16 at 5 p.m. in the Board Room.


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