USD 418 voters Tuesday elected to increase the Local Option Budget by three percent in a move that was welcome news to district administration.
“This money will go to keep further cuts from happening in the immediate future,” Dr. Randy Watson, USD 418 Superintendent, said. “We're grateful and we appreciate everyone coming out to vote. The school board is looking forward at going forward with this.”
Voters approved the increase in the LOB 63 percent to 36 percent.
Specifically, Watson says that the estimated $470,000 raised by the LOB increase will go towards the retention of staffing positions at the elementary school.
“We were waiting to fill some elementary counselor positions that we will now go ahead and fill now that we have [the LOB increase],” Watson said. “We were probably going to cut those. There are some other things that we were looking at cutting that we will not have to cut.”
One area the money will not go towards is athletics. In fact, the only funding USD 418 provides for athletics is coaches' salaries.
“And those are really small,” Watson said. “I know everyone's used to seeing college coaches or professional coaches, but our coaches are paid a stipend on top of their regular contract. Its really very minor.”
Most of the funding for the athletic programs, especially at the high school, comes from either the gates at the events or from the McPherson High School booster club.