USD 434 Battles Budget

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Parents crowded into the USD 434 District Center next to the Santa Fe Trail High School. The sleet and snow could not keep them away as they sat in on the school board meeting.

Several crucial issues are facing the district. "We're now looking at budget deficits of about anywhere between $350,000-$500,000 this year," said Superintendent Dr. Steve Pegrem.

One of the solutions put forward by the Board is a reconfiguration of the entire district. This answer does not sit well with Christine Stangis who handed out fliers to encourage parents to attend the meeting.

"Do I have the answer, no. Do I want a different answer, yes." said Stangis.

"Any school district in the state is in a dire situation. Especially those with declining enrollment. That's always got to be a factor. What we have done is to start addressing our declining enrollment problems instead of ignoring them and by addressing them, it means change," said Dr. Pegrem.

"Most people realize that the time has come that if we're going to make this thing even work financially some changes have to be made," said David Crook.

Dr. Pegrem said the district could save around $480,000 if they went ahead with the reconfiguration.

No decisions have been made at this time. Additional meetings have been scheduled but no final decision will be made until the legislature has finalized their budget.