Budget recommendations move along - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Crystal Oko

Budget recommendations move along

ROCHESTER, MN (KTTC-TV) -- Carving nearly $15 million dollars out of the Rochester School District budget has not been an easy job for the nearly fifty people who are on the budget reductions committe

But no matter how you slice the numbers, there are some cuts that will greatly impact the future of education in Rochester.

"I do have two kids in the school system too. I have a son that's at John Adams and I have a daughter that's at Sunset Terrace. So I am personally invested," said Jon Eckhoff, the budget reductions committee chair.

Jon Eckhoff is one of forty-six personally invested citizens who have taken on the daunting task of cutting nearly $15 million dollars out of the school's budget.

"It's been a lot of work. And it's difficult work because every single item on that list has a champion," said Eckhoff.

"It was very painful and at some points excuritiating because I've had children that have been in the system, that are in the system. It's an excellent system of public education and we know we're taking away some valuable pieces," said Pat Gannon, a committee member.

The committee began with over 6,000 recommendations and have worked to purge, and rank the recommendations. Some of which include: an increase in athletic fees, eliminating vacant positions, freezing administrative staff salaries, cutting paraprofessional staffing by 10-percent. And increasing class sizes in grades K through 6 by three students.  The list even cuts employees.

"There are administrative jobs, there are maintence jobs, secretarial jobs, there are, of course, teaching jobs. There's nothing that's been left out as we analyze the cuts," said Eckhoff.

If you would like to comment about the recommendations or have any questions there are a number of input sessions you can attend.

January 21st from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

January 22nd from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

January 23rd from 9 a.m to 11 a.m.

February 3rd from 4 to 6 p.m.

Those will be held at the Edison building.

Of course it's important to remember that these are recommendations at this point, nothing has been finalized.

The school board will be reviewing everything and make a decision in February.


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