Northeastern school board members have less than two weeks to find roughly $700,000 to fill a gap in the budget.
The board is expected to vote on the district's $56.3 million 2012-13 budget at its May 21 meeting and has already shaved off most of the projected $3.4 million deficit that stood at the beginning of the budget process.
During its meeting Monday night, the board heard recommendations from Superintendent Jody Nace that included furloughing two teachers and laying off seven others.
"If they do not have tenure, they can be released from their positions," Nace said.
Furloughed teachers could be brought back to the district, she added.
The budget includes a proposed 2.3 percent maximum property tax hike. That would increase taxes on a $100,000 home by $54.
Recommendations: Another recommendation is to convert the district's communications coordinator from a full-time to a part-time position.
Other recommendations are to eliminate the activity bus at the middle school and high school and to consolidate bus runs, which would mean kindergarten to grade 3 students in the Dauberton neighborhood would have to walk to school.
Recommendations previously introduced included cutting about 20 percent of the high school music co-curricular staff, cutting 13 assistant coaches in a variety of sports and cutting seven interventionists at the lower levels, several middle school co-curricular staff, two intermediate school literacy coaches and a secondary technology coach.
Raises: While some teachers, staff and coaches could be out of work at the end of the school year, one group of staff could get a pay raise, which brought ire from board member Kevin Gebhart.
Classified staff, which includes custodians and cafeteria workers, could receive a 1 percent raise this coming school year.
"They got a raise last year," Gebhart said. "To me, I would not" give them one this year.
Classified staff employees received a 2.7 percent pay increase last year, said business manager Brian Geller.
They were to receive a 4 percent pay increase, but that was reduced to 2.7 percent.
While the employees stand to make more money, they could also be contributing to their health insurance offered through the district. Those eligible for the benefits could be paying about 50 percent of the premiums if the proposal is approved by the board.
Nace said the "free" health care offset lower pay than other school districts offered.
But times have changed, and wages at Northeastern have increased.
"We are competitive with most of the districts in the area," she said.
- Reach Greg Gross at 505-5434, email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/YDcrime.