Cowden-Herrick School Officials Discuss Budget; Athletic Co-Oping

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Published on March 12 2013 2:54 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Residents of the Cowden-Herrick School District gathered Monday night to be updated on the District's financial situation and what might be done to help.

School district officials also discussed the pros and cons of co-oping with the Beecher City School District on additional sports.

Cowden-Herrick Superintendent Darrell Gordon said the predicted $534,000 deficit for the coming year involves a $100,000 shortfall in the District's Operations and Maintenance Fund as well as a large deficit in general state aid.  He said the District has lost $1.3 million in State Aid in the past four years.

Gordon told those gathered that the worst case scenario would involve eliminating six certified staff members and another six non-certified staffers.  He said there are some retirements possible that would eliminate the need to cut so many positions, and said he's working with the teachers' union on scenarios to address the situation.  If everything broke just right, Gordon said the numbers could be reduced to eliminating one certified staff member and one non-certified staffer.

Other options include curriculum changes and sports transportation cuts.

Gordon said the decisions are likely to come at the Board's regular monthly meeting this Thursday evening.

As far as sports co-oping, Gordon said discussion involved junior high scholar bowl, high school scholar bowl, junior high boys basketball, high school girls volleyball and high school boys basketball.  The Beecher City and Cowden-Herrick districts already co-op in all other sports.

Gordon said comments were about "50/50" on the issue.  Some were concerned about a loss of playing time for their athletes, but others thought a co-op would help the teams remain competitive.  Some thought the loss of sports mascots would mean a loss of identity, but others say co-oping has certainly worked for the CHBC girls basketball team. 

Gordon said he's considering utilizing the foundation established by retired superintendent Gary Cadwell as an option for those who'd like to contribute to the sports programs.

Gordon expects co-oping to be discussed at Thursday's meeting, but doesn't expect a vote.