KNAPPA —?The Knappa School District budget committee has signed off on a plan to cut more than $400,000 next school year from the district's current $4.9 million general fund.

While Interim Superintendent Jim Carlile’s budget for the 2011-12 school year eliminates several licensed teaching and staff positions – a reduction of $220,000 and the equivalent of six full-time jobs since the end of last school year – no employees are slated to be laid off at the end of this school year.

That’s because of several retirements and empty positions that will remain unfilled, Carlile said. 

“We are losing some really great people,” he said.

The full committee passed the budget with a unanimous vote Monday.

The district will be able to maintain a full calendar of 178 instructional days, a rarity these days, Carlile said.

The budget keeps programs in place, though a few may be restructured. The classroom offerings for the agriculture program would be downsized, but online programs would be expanded, for example.

Full-day kindergarten will stay, and about 40 children are expected to fill the two classrooms. 

The district has seen declining enrollment over the last four to five years, but this year, the number of students is holding steady. Class sizes will be fewer than 22 per class in the lower grades, and about 25 per class in fourth and fifth grades. 

Knappa is in the process of hiring for four positions for next year – a kindergarten teacher, an elementary physical education instructor, a high school advanced math instructor and an elementary special-education instructor.

Next year, Knappa High School Principal Jeff Leo will take on superintendent duties, along with most of his current responsibilities.

Additionally, licensed administrative and staffing reductions will be made - going from $592,000 in the 2009-10 budget to $405,813 projected for 2011-13. The reduction in force in administration will pose a challenge to the leadership team, Carlile said. 

The school board will consider the budget at its June 20 board meeting.


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