Schalmont budget cuts come into focus

While a proposed budget hasn't been released on the district's website as of Tuesday, March 8, by the superintendent, she discussed with the board some possible reductions during the last meeting. Around 50 percent of the equipment costs might get cut across the board, along with all field trips and summer programming. While the high school summer school will remain, the middle school offering would be eliminated and the summer elementary literacy program would be cut. Summer school isn't mandated by the state. Sports programming will also see some cuts, such as cutting freshman girls and boys basketball, since there aren't many teams to play against due to other school reductions.

"I think everybody would like to increase program offerings but it is not going to get anywhere in the foreseeable future," said Thompson. "It was less than a month since we have come to the conclusion to close the two schools that now is the time we are focusing on the rest of the money."

The board in particular is looking to keep the 20 high school honors, advanced placement and college level courses being offered to students, Thompson said so students can be best prepared for college and moving on from their high school studies.

He also noted parents have become understanding of the school closing and have been actively working for a positive transition for students. For one after school program, he said parents have been getting together to plan for the future switch.

"I have heard members of the community that are now willing to move forward," he said. "I'm proud of the residents that they are committed to make this a positive outcome for themselves and the kids. They are supportive of it and the kids are resilient and excited about some of the changes.""

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