Cerro Gordo school board cuts positions

CERRO GORDO — Teachers, parents, and former students attended a public hearing Wednesday night, giving Cerro Gordo school board members a chance to get community input before making decisions on possible spending cuts.

"We all want what is best for our students" said Pam Grohmann, president of the Cerro Gordo Education Association. Grohmann suggested the possibility of forming a cost-cutting committee that would include parents and teachers.

Superintendent Brett Robinson told the more than 40 people at the meeting that the spending cuts "give us a chance to balance our overall budget," which he said would save the district just over $382,000 next school year.

After nearly three hours deliberating over spending cuts in closed session, the board reconvened, voting to eliminate three teaching positions, including two elementary teachers and one teacher shared between the middle and high school.

"This is a result of the state's fiscal mismanagement, and is a last resort type of option that we have been able to stave off and avoid in the past two years." said Robinson the staffing cuts.

The board also voted to make two full-time positions part-time, which Robinson pointed out was partly due to the number of students requesting classes for several subjects. Additionally, one teaching contract has been reduced from 11 months to 10 months. Hourly adjustments were also made to five educational support personnel positions and secretaries.

Robinson also presented a long list of measures the district will be taking to reduce spending wherever possible, including a salary freeze for himself, reduced travel, and cutting the number of baseball games each year from 28 to 24.

Following up on this year's success in cooperative sports programs with Bement, the board voted to enter into a new agreement for high school boys basketball. The agreement, which requires that Cerro Gordo will pay two-thirds of the costs, will save the district about $3,500 on basketball costs.

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