Superintendent Haddock: Lakewood School District could face $800,000 shortfall next school year

LAKEWOOD — The Lakewood School District could be facing $800,000 in budget reductions next school year if conservative estimates hold true.

Lakewood Superintendent Dennis Haddock said Monday, April 12, that the district could have to eliminate about nine full-time equivalent certified and classified positions — not necessarily staff members — combined if its preliminary 2010-11 budget estimates holds true.

Lakewood, like all state school districts, can not move forward with exact budget numbers for next school year until the Legislature concludes its ongoing special session.

"Until they adjourn we won't know for certain exactly what we will be working with for state funding," Haddock said in a release Monday. "It is difficult to not be able to determine our exact numbers therefore we are once again having to be very conservative in our estimate.

"We hope that we won't have to realize the total level of reductions in the plan."

The School Board formally approved April 7 a Reduced Education Plan, which gives the district an idea of what kinds of cuts could be on the table should Lakewood face a major funding shortfall.

According to a list of potential cuts released by Haddock, the largest eliminations would come in the form of payroll.

The district is proposing eliminating six teaching positions and funding for one categorical staff member — a total of 7.2 FTE, or full-time equivalent positions — which would save approximately $530,000 combined.

Haddock said that he's hoping that pending resignations and extended leaves of absence by staff members will offset those jobs, which could mean that the district may not have to layoff many staff members.

Other cuts on Haddock's list include eliminating one full-time classified staff position ($37,105) and one full-time secretarial position ($59,623).

District administrative staff could also be seeing some reductions. Haddock said that the district could reduce the total work days of its assistant principals, athletic director and two executive director positions.

Other administrators that could see reduced hours are the district's transportation supervisor, facilities supervisor, information systems manager, executive administrative assistant and account technician.

"I do wish to acknowledge the difficult and painful reductions we are facing and the impact it will have upon our school district next year and individuals who will be affected," Haddock said. "Once again, we are faced with the challenge to do the best we can for student learning with severely limited resources."

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