The Lake Superior School Board cut two part-time teachers at its Tuesday, May 12 meeting to ease the district's projected deficit.
The 0.2 science teacher and 0.78 work-based learning teacher positions were eliminated as part of budget reductions.
The district is facing a slightly smaller deficit than originally expected due to changes in staffing. The initial projected deficit was around $360,900. At a board workshop in April, district officials estimated the deficit to be $160,000, but said they wouldn't know for sure until they received funding and student count estimates from the state.
The deficit is now expected to be closer to $220,200, said Sara Girard, business manager.
“Last time I talked to the board, (the deficit) was closer to $160,000, but the state released their calculations for projected student levels and funding, and it’s about $60,000 more,” Girard said.
Another change Girard factored into the budget includes a likely increase in health care premiums due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Girard said the district won’t know what the premium increase will be until October, but she factored in a 12.4% increase based on data from other districts.
Girard herself is one of the several staffing changes the board reviewed on Tuesday. Girard offered her resignation earlier this year — Tuesday was her last board meeting.
“She’s been a star for us and in the region. Everyone’s said marvelous things about her, and we wish her the best of luck in West Virginia,” Superintendent Bill Crandall said.
The board also approved hiring Doug Hasler to replace Girard as the business manager for the district. He’s set to begin in July.
Meanwhile, Kerissa Graden was hired as the coordinator for Little Mariners Child Care center. The day care center will be located in the William Kelley High School to help fill the gap in day care availability in Silver Bay.
The board also granted a leave of absence for Sara Preston, school nurse at the Two Harbors High School. Preston asked to take a leave to help the region with nursing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Crandall said she’s also willing to help the district reopen if schools are allowed to open in the fall.