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Lawrence school board to consider about $341K in additional budget cuts

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The Lawrence school board on Monday will hear a budget-savings recommendation that would make deeper cuts to administration and learning coaches positions.

When board members approved about $6.07 million in budget cuts on March 28, they opted to cut fewer librarians than what administrators had recommended. They instead directed administrators to find about $365,000 through a combination of additional cuts to learning coaches and administration. 

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The new cut recommendations are $177,441 to administration and $163,521 to learning coach positions, according to the updated list in the meeting agenda, for $340,962 total. 

It was unclear from the budget document what the new proposed cuts would mean. Reached via email Friday, district spokesperson Julie Boyle did not share any additional details. 

Based on the average of salaries for district learning coaches in the 2020-21 school year, the amount is roughly equivalent to three positions. The administrative cuts would be equivalent to between one and two positions. Along with the $400,000 that the board already approved, that would bring the total proposed cuts to administration to $577,441 — about 9% of the $6.41 million in total cuts. 

The district is facing a budget shortfall that is now estimated between $3.62 and $4.27 million. School board members have said they’re looking to make around $7 million in cuts to provide staff raises and rebuild depleted reserve funds, but they legally must balance the budget by July 1. 

Board members will also hear an update on social emotional learning and mental health. 

As of Friday afternoon, the agenda did not include any information about plans for a Montessori program at New York Elementary, still pending board approval. However, the district will hold dinner and discussion events for families to learn more about the program later this month.

The meeting will start at 6 p.m. Monday, April 11 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. Meetings are open to the public, livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel and broadcast on Midco channel 26. Full meeting agendas are available at this link.

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Emma Bascom (she/her), reporter, can be reached at ebascom (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here.

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