Fund-raisers, increased fees will be used to keep activities in place Seaside School District will see drastic reductions next year.

The school board was one of the first in the county to ratify its 2003-04 budget Monday. Some 15 staff positions will be reduced through attrition and lay-offs.

"It's very disappointing," Superintendent Doug Dougherty said. "Over the years, our staff has assumed greater responsibilities as the district has been forced to reduce programs and services for our children."

Gov. Ted Kulongoski's budget, which would freeze teacher salaries and benefits, would reduce Seaside's service by $280,000. Meanwhile contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System are expected to increase by $440,000. For next year's budget, the district had to cut $720,000 in services from what was offered this year.

The district will no longer be able to fund middle school sports, and 25 percent of high school sports and activities will be funded through fund-raisers and increased user fees.

In November, Seaside voters passed a ballot levy which will provide nearly $700,000 next year to the school. The money cushioned a $1.4 million reduction. The district used school improvement funds to cover shortfalls this year. The money helped the district stave off teacher or school day reductions this year, but left the school with little carry-over for next year.

Most of the teaching reductions will be through attrition, Dougherty said.

"We anticipate unfortunately two layoffs," he said.

The Seaside school administration will be reorganized and one principal position will be reduced, he said. Suzy Roehr, second-grade teacher at Cannon Beach Elementary, will teach kindergarten part-time and become the head teacher at the school. Sande Brown, assistant principal at Broadway Middle School, will continue that position part-time and work as principal of Gearhart Elementary. Seaside Heights principal Mike Donovan will also work part-time as assistant principal of Broadway Middle School.

Elementary music will no longer have a full-time teacher. Music will be taught in the classrooms. One librarian will be reduced. The high school's alternative education program will be redesigned and no longer have a full-time teacher. Other high school teachers will take over the alternative education program. The drug and alcohol program will no longer have a full-time staff member, but the program will be assumed by administrators and counseling staff.

Six teachers assistants will be reduced; although, two or three people are already retiring, Dougherty said. Two custodians will be reduced.

The district currently employs 212 people, some part-time, he said.

The school board will also try to sell vacant property west of the Pacific Way Bakery in Gearhart.

"If the Legislature fails to identify sufficient revenues to operate Oregon's schools at their current levels of service, we will be forced to continue making reductions," Dougherty said. "However, we will continue to demand that Oregon create an adequate and stable funding system for its children."

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