CHURUBUSCO — Smith-Green Community School’s board meeting was well attended Monday, as Interim Superintendent Ralph Bailey presented his solution to the near-half a million dollars’ worth of budget cuts.
“No one loves the person who has to make the budget,” Bailey said. “I am the one responsible for it and I take that very seriously.”
Bailey told of the months working with Business Manager Todd Fleetwood.
“This is nothing I’m happy about, but small schools are losing funding – thanks to the government,” Bailey said.
Many of the suggestions received regarding the budget cuts were shared.
Bailey explained how much money the proposed idea would save, but in total the ideas just did not cover the amount SGCS needs to cut.
Through large cuts in recent years, the district had managed to cope with the change and not let the cuts affect the staff. But those cuts, coupled with 92 percent of SGCS’s expenditures being salary and benefits, there was little choice remaining. Bailey recommended cutting three teachers.
“If the board does not accept my recommendation, I will be packing up tomorrow morning, because you don’t want a superintendent — you want someone you can tell what to do,” Bailey said.
Bailey went on to say he was not threatening the board members, but felt he had done his job ethically and with the best intentions. “If the board is not going to trust me, I don’t want to be superintendent.”
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