May 20, 2011 in City

Mead to balance books with librarians


 Mead School District is facing a $1 million budget gap, and one answer is putting its librarians’ teaching credentials back to work.

 The shift of 12 librarians into the classroom saves $660,000, said Wayne Leonard, executive director of business management. “If we didn’t move them into the classroom, we would have to hire new people.”

 The district’s libraries will remain open, but will be manned in some other way, Leonard said. The details are still being worked out.

 Mead’s continued enrollment growth has saved the district from more drastic cuts, but in the past four years state funding has decreased and forced trims.

 “We feel like we’ve protected people and programs pretty well during the last four years,” Leonard said. “This isn’t something we wanted to do, but at some point it gets more and more difficult to protect all the programs that you have.”

 Other cuts include leaving an administrative position open – a savings of $120,000 – and an alternative school teaching position open – a savings of $86,000; and reducing the budget for supplies and materials – $134,000.

Jody Lawrence-Turner

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