Budget reduction package passed

BenjaminLogan Raiders

To reduce a rising budget shortfall, the Benjamin Logan school board has passed several budget reduction measures intended to save the district upward of $540,000 next year.

Still, new revenue in the form of income or property taxes will be necessary to stabilize the district’s financial outlook long-term, according to discussion Monday in a regular meeting.

Among the deficit reductions accepted Monday, Superintendent Dave Harmon recommended not purchasing or replacing two buses next year at a cost-savings of an estimated $162,000. 

Also, there will be no paving project on the school grounds next year. Eliminating that project will save approximately $150,000.

Among the budget-reduction strategies is the elimination of the district’s Japanese learning program. In a savings of $77,000 next year, four units of Japanese language and culture taught at the high school will be eliminated, along with an exploratory unit at the seventh- and eighth-grade levels. 

Though the course was eliminated as part of budget reduction measures passed Monday, the superintendent said he still hopes the course can be brought back next year and could be paid for with a $30,000 grant and donations from area businesses, especially those owned by, or that have considerable contracts with, Japanese-owned corporations.

School administrators had been lobbied hard to keep the Japanese language and culture course in the curriculum. Comments came in, “from all over the world,” to keep the course in place, Harmon said.

The impact of Japanese corporations and manufacturers on the local and regional economy were cited as major reasons why the course should be protected, according to two presentations to the board on Monday. 

Read complete story in Tuesday's Examiner
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