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Lakeville Schools Could Lose Deans, Counselors, in Effort to Trim $3.5 Million

The Lakevlle Area Public School District must trim $3.5 million from an already lean budget thanks to enrollment declines.

Lakeville's middle and high schools may lose most of the building deans as the school district looks to trim $3.5 million from a budget that's already been trimmed to the breaking point.

In addition, it's likely eight full-time teachers—or more—would be part of the trimming by way of section reductions, as well as one of the two full-time high school athletic directors, and much of the district's technology personnel.

"We just can't make ends meet," said Linda Swanson, the district's communications coordinator. "Cuts have to take place. Right now, with declining enrollment—it's just the situation we're in."

The budget proposal is just that—a proposal, Swanson said. The school board will discuss the adjustments at a 5 p.m. work session scheduled for Feb. 26 at the District Office, prior to its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

As is, the proposal would literally scrap Lakeville’s long-standing principal-dean model. In its place, the schools would go to principal/associate principal model with counselors, Swanson said.

"Some deans in the buildings now could move, but it would be a different pay structure," Swanson said. "We'd be looking at a different skill set in the buildings."

As for the cutting of teachers in the proposal, Swanson said it would come by way of looking at sections and making efficiencies.

"For example, if we have three sections of kindergarten with 14 students in each class, we'd instead go with two sections of 21," she said.

In addition, the proposal calls for the elimination of four learning specialists and four counselors at the elementary level, the technology support specialists in the middle schools, as well as the district's coordinator of technology.

Swanson said the district could also look to sell land, and further cut transportation costs.

Swanson said there will be future work sessions as well as a public information and feedback meeting sometime in March.

The board will have to pass a list of $3.5 million in adjustments on March 26.

Randy Pronschinske February 26, 2013 at 02:53 PM
So many question so little time! The first quetion is the March 26th date a legal concern or an artificial date made by the District? Can the community see the math behind the decisions and how it is calculated or should we just trust the District? It seems to me when the community discussed Administration cuts they were not talking about those that work with the students but those that do not! Community please let the District know what you meant! Why would we get rid of a model that all agree (includingt he Superintendent) has been successful and help to create a blue ribbon school to one that has less focus on our students. Who will do the work of the Deans once they are gone? Why are we not having discussions regarding the Teachers contract that comes up this summer? Over 80% of the budget has to do witht he contract and yet we will wait until we destory a system before we can discuss it. Community please engage!
Chelsea L February 27, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Must feel real good to bully someone online Megan. Congrats. I hope that made you feel better about yourself.
Chris February 27, 2013 at 03:59 AM
Cuts need to come out of the District Office. So much has been taken away from the students and classroom. It is time for the District Office to take a hit.
Derrick Williams (Editor) February 27, 2013 at 05:34 AM
Chris—what would you cut at the District Office? Could be a good idea. That said, in this proposal, the district's technology coordinator would be cut, as would an assistant communications worker. Both of those are admin jobs housed at the DO.
Derrick Williams (Editor) February 27, 2013 at 05:35 AM
Megan, your comment has been deleted for violating the tearms of service. Let's not insult people.
Chris February 27, 2013 at 10:35 PM
The 2 positions that they are proposing to cut at the DO are minimal. If you look at the percentage of jobs cut at the DO in the last 10 years compared to the percentage of cuts made across the rest of the district it is not even close. The DO has actually ADDED positions in that amount of time!! I hate the idea of someone losing their job, but the school and kids don't deserve to be impacted any further.
Pam R Johnson February 28, 2013 at 01:34 AM
Who creates a blue ribbon school? Great teachers! Yet high school teachers now have classes over 40 students and their salaries have barely kept up with inflation and sometimes under inflation. Lakeville teacher's pay overall lags behind schools in the Lake Conference. Teachers are an easy target to blame. They are too busy and exhausted to read articles like this!
cmfn February 28, 2013 at 03:36 AM
In every home, in every business, there is always places that could be cut. But we all become accustomed to our certain "priveleges" we enjoy and feel we just can't live without them. Really, we can, we just don't want to. As long as the revenue is flowing in, we just aren't forced to make those tough decisions. Many households have had a reality check of what is really a necessity compared to a luxury, their definition has been brought back to reality. Lakeville has great parents, that have or are raising great kids. This is not the inner city where school officials are plagued with many discipline issues. A principal can oversee two elementary schools, with an assistant if need. An athletic director, could serve two schools, with an assistant. Compensation for teachers, is based on a uninion model, based on educatinal level..not based on complexity of material that is to be taught. In most business careers, unless the complexity of your workload increases, the pay raise is either non-existent or minimal. It is not based on years of service and education, it is based on the complexity of your assigned work. A first grade teacher can continue to receive pay increases, based upon advanced degrees, even though, their class teach is the same. The lunch room ladies will receive a pay increase, to make the same lunch, if they take a certain nutrient class. My boss is not giving me a pay raise because I took a class.
Kari February 28, 2013 at 02:07 PM
to cmfn - I would argue that the complexity of teachers jobs IS increasing all of the time. They are dealing with larger classes, with more students with individualized special needs. They continually revise curriculum to meet ever-changing state standards, along with increased high-stakes state testing, which of course they work to prepare their students to take. Teachers are called upon more and more to pick up the slack where families/parents have left off (teaching basic civility & manners, being that person in a child's life who genuinely cares for them, providing them with basic necessities). They continue to do all of this and more, with declining resources, despite living under the microscope of society and the mounting criticism of people who really have NO IDEA what teachers do on a daily basis. Ask any spouse of a teacher or the few support staff within a school who observes all that they do and they will tell you it is the most underappreciated, undervalued profession. As in any profession, there are always those that tarnish the image, and unfortunately, our society would rather focus on that small minority, rather than the majority who are giving it their best. I challenge you to walk in the shoes of a teacher and tell me the complexity of their workload doesn't increase over time.
Andy Charrier February 28, 2013 at 03:41 PM
Shadow a teacher for an entire day, then make judgement about their job - I bet you'd find plenty of teachers willing to accommodate that request. But for a good picture of where Lakeville stands in terms of revenue and expenses, this series of slides (facts) tell the story pretty well. (You might have to copy and paste the link in order to use it, not sure how the Patch commenting system deals with links.) https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=33424867
ABSG February 28, 2013 at 10:44 PM
I really don't understand how teachers can continue to Cry Wolf ..... The Average American Worker: 52 weeks x 5 Days/week = 260 Days 4 weeks vacation/year = -16 Days* 10 holidays/year= -10 3 sick days/year= -3 3 personal days/year= -3 Total days worked 228 Days/ year * 4 weeks vacation AFTER 4-5 years of employment Work day is 8 hours WORK with 1/2 hr. unpaid lunch and 2/15 minutes break/day The Average Teacher: School year = 180 days 14 Holidays/year= -14 5 personal days/year= -5 7 Sick days/year- -7 ? Vacation days/year= ? * Total days worked 154 Days/ year *I believe teachers get vacation time as well Work day is 7 hours including a 1/2 hour PAID lunch and one hour FREE period/day National Average Teacher Salary = $53,680 National Average American Salary = $42,979 Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm........ and who is not paid fairly ?????
BabyRuth March 01, 2013 at 12:55 AM
According to the current Lakeville teacher contract under Article XIII section 1: "The normal work day for full-time teachers shall be eight hours including student contact time, preparation time, other basic day time, and a duty-free lunch period equivalent to the time allowed students, but no longer than 30 minutes." Article XIV section 1: "The number of duty days for the 2011-13 school years shall be 186." There are no holiday or vacation days subtracted from this number. Article XII section 2, subd.1: "All full-time teachers with 0-3 years of service shall be granted two days of personal leave each year. All full-time teachers in their fourth year of service and beyond shall be granted three days of personal leave each year." Article XII section 1 subd.1: "All full-time teachers shall be granted twelve sick leave-emergency leave days each year" Please report factual numbers and figures. I do not know what the national average teacher salary is, nor do I know what the national average American salary is.
Chris March 01, 2013 at 02:35 AM
To ABSG You obviously do not know any teachers personally. Teachers do NOT get any vacation days, and only 3 personal days. Their official work day is 8 hours, but most teacher bring work home and plan and prepare for many hours a night. They also do schoolwork on weekends. They do get 1 hour prep 3 days a week and 30 minutes the other 2 days. That time is spent calling parents, following up on school email, prepping for the next class and grading papers. It is NOT spent twiddling their thumbs!
cmfn March 01, 2013 at 03:17 AM
To Kari: Perhaps my family lives in a sheltered world. I was referring to parents in Lakeville, that for the most part, are very involved in their kids lives and are very actively involved in raising great kids. I do not see "discipline issued" kids at my home. My daughters friends are beyond polite. They take their shoes off at the door, they say please and thank you, most are in sports, work a part time job and are taking college prep classes. They are overall great girls that have been raised very well. With that said, I am not naive, even though it's Lakeville and not Chicago, I understand we still have a small handful of kids that are not raised with the same high standards and parental involvement and that is unfortunate. Being a teacher in Lakeville and the emotional children issues is there, just not to the same degree as other school districts such as North Minneapolis, where it is not just one or two children in the classroom that comes with an unstable home, but an entire classroom of children.
Pam R Johnson March 01, 2013 at 04:39 AM
These are the facts from my spouse that has taught in Lakeville for 37 years. Teachers are paid for 187 days of teaching and no more. They are not paid for summer or any other break. Teachers get 0 paid vacation days. Teachers do get personal days and sick days, but must walk away from most of them when they retire. There are no golden parachutes in education. That is not why they teach. Teachers must grade papers,do lesson plans on evenings and weekends. Most days he works for 10/11 per day, yet gets paid for 8.Teachers must get more college classes every year to keep their licenses (which they pay for) current and to stay on top of educational and technological trends. When you are doing your average salary comparisons, what are you comparing? Most teachers now have Master's degrees in their field. Those teacher who do extra curricular work usually make about $5/ hour because of all of the extra time they put in with kids. That's why they do it. Come sit in on a class of 43 9th grade students.
Kari March 01, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Inner city & Lakeville are like comparing apples & oranges. I'm talking about the increasing complexity of what teachers in Lakeville deal with. I agree, we have a majority of great families who are doing everything thing right. But unstable homes aren't the only reason kids might bring issues to the classroom. There are many priveleged kids who bring their own set of issues - sense of entitlement, over-scheduled kids, permissive parenting, demanding parents. We're not inner city, but we have our own set of issues. Issues are issues and they all take time & energy to deal with. But we chose to live here because of the schools and the success of these schools is due in large part to the hard working teachers and those "priveleges" that we have come to expect. But as classes get larger (even by 1 student), there are that many more needs, whatever they may be, to be met...they come from every student - from those high performing kids who deserve to be challenged, to those who are on the other end who need help catching up, and let's not forget that average student who needs as much attention as everyone else. Teachers can only do so much with what resources they have. Sure, cuts need to be made, but not in the classroom.
cmfn March 02, 2013 at 01:19 AM
I think the point that is missing is that many people, not just teachers, have gone from the 40 hour work week, which use to be the standard, to the new standard of 50 plus hour work week. While we here that teachers are working their required time in the classroom and then having to come home at night and after the dinner is done and the kids are off to bed, putting in a few more hours just to stay on top of their workload...many people can tell this same story. The only difference is, it does not bring media attention, all these other people that live the same exact life do not have a union or an organized large group. But they are just as real, experiencing the same exact thing. They would like a pay raise also, they would like to not see their health insurance contribution increase by hundreds of dollars each year. They would like their boss to recognize that they are working at home at night to keep up with their new demands that keep changing. And while their boss recognizes it and is appreciative, that can not be reflected in a payraise. My significant other works for a State run organization. He is passionate about what he does and has done it for over 30 years. For the last several years, they have had pay freezes, budget cuts, as employees leave, they are not replaced. That work is just "absorbed".
cmfn March 02, 2013 at 01:37 AM
It is a free economy...if a teacher feels that they are being underpaid and overworked, leave, find a new job. Most do not leave, because the reality is, the version of bad is not really all that bad compared to what is out there. What is out there, most are experiencing the same exact thing.
bell March 02, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Ohhhhh, cmfn. I can't decide to laugh or scream as I read each of your passages. You and ABSG are the reason I believe in karma.
cmfn March 02, 2013 at 03:35 AM
Do you know what Karmia real is besids just saying it,,,I know, I graduated top ten lists. I was hired by the most prestigious firm in the nation. My kids were afforded every luxury in life, when they walked in their bedroom, the light went on, Divorce came, I lost it, and that life they grew so use to was gone. We lived in from one apartment to another, their was no seperate bedrooms, or lower level family rooom, we all shared one small kitchen, my daughter splet with me, the family room was gone. It was in this tiny space, of moving alot, we found what was for real, I love my kids beyond. we not only made it through drug dealers, women showing up at our door banging that were beaten and naked of which I sent the kids away, they are now ranked top in the world athletes. It comes from home, and what one allows,

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