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School budget cuts on the way

Board to hear projections in April
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Western Placer Unified School District’s $8.7 million budget has to be trimmed by $3 million, according to district officials since November, to achieve a balanced budget. One possible budget cut that has some Glen Edwards Middle School parents and teachers concerned would be eliminating coach stipends. But district Superintendent Scott Leaman said this week that the district hasn’t taken any action to cut sports programs at the middle school to date. The Glen Edwards Middle School parents and coaches have formed a group called Save Our Sports to raise money for sports programs at the school. “Save Our Sports is an opportunity for them to fundraise for the sports they have but it doesn’t mean the district is actively cutting sports at the middle school,” Leaman said. “The phrase ‘Save Our Sports,’ sometimes that can conjure up (ideas) that the board has taken action to do additional cuts in sports but they have not at this time.” The district has “over 200 ideas around reductions that we would make,” according to Leaman, but he “has not seen that list and doesn’t know what’s on it. “I don’t doubt among the ideas that reducing coaching stipends is one of them but the board has not taken action,” Leaman said. “We haven’t gone into specifics of what’s going to be reduced. There’s as much chance of coaching stipends being on there as anything else.” Joyce Lopes, the school district’s assistant superintendent of business, said cutting middle school sports is on the list of suggested cuts collected by the district so far. “It was contemplated during last year’s budget reduction process and during this year but they have also suggested cutting art and music,” Lopes said. “Cutting sports is suggested on the list but it’s not targeted and there’s no more emphasis on sports than on cutting art or music.” Lopes said the budget committee will meet next week. “They need to determine through the voting process which ones will go forward to the board,” Lopes said. Projected budget cuts will be presented to the school board in April, according to Lopes.