|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - February 2011
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Leggett first school to cut programs over budget woes
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LEGGETT — Trustees for Leggett Independent School District declared the start of a fi nancial exigency based on lower average daily attendance and decrease in funding Tuesday. The board also voted to declare a Reduction in Force (RIF) that could potentially impact all departments. After deliberating in executive session for over two hours, the board voted to reduce the school’s vocational agriculture program to part time for the 2011-2012 school year and discontinue family and consumer science (homemaking) electives, according to Superintendent Vicki Jones. Jones said trustees approved reducing the district’s contribution toward health insurance premiums by $64.55 per month for each employee, but administrators are continuing to look at ways to avoid implementing that action due to its devastating impact on staff members and their family. All professional staff members with an 11-month contract will be cut to 10 months, according to one of the affected employees. The district also plans to cut back its custodial staff to two half-day positions. Leggett ISD will also assign some vocational classes to high school teachers currently assigned to teach English. Jones said the board also approved a lengthy list of cuts to “minor” expense accounts. The average daily attendance at Leggett schools is currently 176, Jones told trustees Thursday. “Enrollment has dropped steadily since 2004,” Jones said. The decreases have ranged from 5 to 8.6 percent. A 2.9 percent increase was reported in the 2008-2009 school year, but declined all other years, records show. Trustees voted not to extend its contract with principal Rick Perry, who has one year remaining on a two-year contract. Leggett ISD was rated Academically Acceptable for the 2009-2010 school year. The student to teacher ratio is 8.5 for the district. The 42-member staff includes 22 teachers, six educational aides, 10 auxiliary staff, two in central administration, one campus administration and one professional support staff member.