ISD 200 District Office

The Hastings School Board is set to adopt 2022-2023 budget adjustments that could include lowering music lessons and the number of physical education classes students have to take.

The board has been discussing next year’s budget cuts for the past three months and will formally adopt it at their Dec. 15 meeting at 6 p.m. in the Hastings Middle School Media Center. 

Amid declining enrollment, an anticipated $1.3 million budget deficit for 2022-2023 and the ongoing pandemic, the board is looking to cut program costs and raise activity fees to reduce district expenses.

The board's goal is to make up $1.6 million in funds to offset the deficit.

As of the most recent budget discussion, the areas under consideration to make up the $1.3 million deficit look like:

  • $650,000 from a one time allocation fund balance to offset deficit

  • $521,040 from right sizing staff adjustments across elementary, middle and high schools

  • $78,000 to $250,000 from reducing course requirements and music lessons

  • $50,000 from raising athletics and student activity fees

  • $172,000 from Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds

  • $300,000 set aside for the Technology Sustainability Plan.

One way the board has discussed offsetting the deficit is through raising athletics and student activity fees.

The board proposed raising athletic participation fees between 33 percent to 50 percent, which could generate between $16,000 to $38,000 annually.

They also discussed cutting girls basketball, boys tennis and softball from the middle school since they have less than 30 participants per year.

However, most members of the board said they wouldn’t support this cut since it would only save $18,000 annually. 

The board also considered implementing participation fees for outdoor club, art club, student council, youth in government, speech, knowledge bowl, writing club and future teachers at Hastings Middle School.

At their Wednesday meeting, the board will decide if they'll reduce the required number of semesters students are required to take for social studies and physical education at the high school.

The board previously proposed requiring students to take 3.5 years of social studies, instead of the four required now, and require students to take 1.5 years of physical education, instead of two.

Another thing the board has considered to offset the deficit is to reduce music lessons in middle and high school.

The board also has to decide if they will use its ESSER funds. The district has $172,000 in the one-time-use federal relief funds.

Written By

Reporter

Sophia Voight is a reporter for the Hastings Star Gazette. She is from Oshkosh, WI and graduated from the UW Oshkosh with a bachelor's degree in Multimedia Journalism in 2021. She can be reached with any news tips at svoight@orourkemediagroup.com

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