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Axe comes down Wednesday for Perkins Schools

Alissa Widman Neese • Apr 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM

Perkins Schools is set to approve a slew of cuts Wednesday totaling $12 million over the next few years.

The list of district-wide reductions, unveiled late last month, includes axing nearly 40 jobs, eliminating field trips and at least doubling student pay-to-participate athletic fees. About 25 employees will be directly impacted, superintendent Jim Gunner said.

School board approval will make the changes final, for now, although the board plans to divide the cuts into two rounds.

The first round is larger and permanent. It totals about $2.4 million in the coming school year and $3.5 million the following year.

The second round, including fee increases and field trips, can be reversed if a majority of voters favor the district’s May levies. It totals about $468,000 in the upcoming school year.

The district is proposing two issues on the May ballot:

* A five-year renewal of a 2-mill permanent improvement levy.

* A 10-year, 4.98-mill emergency operating levy.

“If and when the levy passes, we’ll bring them back as quickly as possible, based upon the finances of the district at that time,” Gunner said after announcing the cuts in February.

If the 10-year levy fails, the district would face a deficit of more than $600,000 heading into 2014, with an annual budget of about $23 million.

View a list of the reductions here.

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