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Farmington School Suspends Clinic to Make Up For Cuts

Posted at: 02/25/2013 5:33 PM
Updated at: 02/25/2013 7:36 PM
By: Katherine Johnson

"Every year it kind of gets harder because you've gone to just about every well," said Superintendent Jay Haugen.

Farmington schools is in a $1 million budget shortfall for next year.  If Haugen can find the cuts to make up for it, he believes that will buy him enough time to reorganize general fund spending for the future.

"We thought it was just always a short-term thing," said Haugen.  "You think that things will get better and now we realize we've just got to take care of ourselves this way."

And he's looking to staff and parents for help.
First on list, raising fees 10% for extracurricular activities.
Brad Adams pays 165 dollars a year for his son to play soccer.

"So it's 16 more dollars?  Okay so I don't go out to eat one day," he said.

Suspending the contract with the provider for the on-site employee clinic could also save the district as much as $300,000.

Staff gets free medical service at the clinic inside the high school, but it's distance from other schools makes it harder for teachers to use and the cost doesn't balance out if not enough staff members are using it.

"It might save me as an employee dollars but doesn't necessarily save the general fund," said Haugen.

Smaller districts with on-site clinics like Brooklyn Center see nothing but savings from their on-site clinic facility.  But the Brooklyn Center district is about one third the size of Farmington, also calling for less medical supplies and less staffing hours.

Haugen hopes to bring the clinic back by the 2014-2015 school year.  The board will finalize next year's budget in June.