RIPON -- Several sports and other extracurricular activities will be suspended for two years in Ripon schools as officials piece together $1.1 million in cuts for the upcoming 2009-10 school year.
Many school districts are reducing athletic and extracurricular budgets, but the 3,000-student Ripon Unified School District is one of the first districts in the area to cancel sports and other programs. Superintendent Louise Nan emphasized the move is for two years and that the programs will be reinstated for the 2011-12 school year.
At the district's five kindergarten through eighth grade elementary schools, adviser stipends were eliminated for, among others, academic pentathlon, student council, music and yearbook, and coaching stipends were scrapped for boys basketball as well as girls basketball, volleyball and softball, ceasing their seasons.
High school coach and adviser stipends were reduced by 20 percent.
The moves will save about $152,000. The district's annual budget is about $21 million.
"Athletics was hard, but fortunately in Ripon we enjoy tremendous parent support. Parents groups have funded transportation and equipment and the district footed the coaching stipends," Nan said. Ripon also has club sports in town, she said.
The trimming was painful, but Ripon officials are trying to spread the cuts around. Employees are taking furloughs; 14 teachers have retired, staving off possible layoffs; and district administrators have cut 25 percent from their portion of the budget, Nan said.
"All of our employees have really come together," she said.
Bee staff writer Michelle Hatfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2339.