A few measures to cut costs or increase revenue that were set to go into effect this summer in the Genoa school system will be delayed after the board of education Monday conducted a review of the district’s financial situation.
Board members informally agreed to not impose a fee for the district’s all-day everyday kindergarten program, said treasurer Bill Nye.
In addition, the board agreed to not reduce nurse services to four days a week from five and to not eliminate a custodial position. Final approval of any adjustments will be set at the regular board meeting on Feb. 21.
Nye said the district has been able to reduce health insurance costs in conjunction with the district’s health insurance consortium and realized other expense reductions from union concessions that allowed the board some flexibility in an austerity plan approved last May.
According to minutes from a special board meeting that month, the plan included a list of nearly 40 items, ranging from personnel cuts and expense reductions to increases in several fees that totaled about $1.2 million over fiscal years 2012 and 2013. Approximately $440,000 in reductions have been implemented in fiscal year 2012 with the remaining reductions set to be enacted, if approved, in fiscal year 2013.
If enacted according to schedule, the kindergarten fee would have gone into effect on July 1, the start of the 2013 fiscal year.
Estimates by the board show a $100 per month kindergarten fee would generate about $51,750 while reducing nursing services would save the district $12,000.
The austerity plan shows a savings of $49,000 if a custodial position is eliminated or $23,000 if the position is reduced to part-time status.
“The board decided it would rather not charge a kindergarten fee at this point,” Nye said. “It’s not like we found additional money. We were fortunate enough to reduce expenditures in a couple of additional ways. We have implemented a majority of the items on the list and the board will review everything again in fiscal 2013.”
By law, school districts have to provide half-day kindergarten at no charge to residents.
Last May, school officials pointed to a drop in property tax revenues and a loss of state revenues totaling over one million dollars as the main reasons for the austerity plan.