By Micaela Colonna
Mason Times staff writer
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The 2008 recession and state funding cuts have meant losses in almost all areas of Mason Public Schools. This has meant some trimming and searches for new revenue in many departments including academic, athletic, arts and personnel. Custodial groups have taken hourly wage cuts to prevent privatization, administrative and faculty positions were eliminated and district-funded sports have become self-funded. Shelbi Frayer, executive director of business and finance at Mason Public Schools, said the changes are a result of the decrease in state funding.
The Mason Varsity Tennis team practices indoors on a rainy school afternoon. They have experienced the impact of a decreased budget in the form of equipment cuts.
“We wouldn’t have to make such drastic changes such as losing HR if we didn’t have a cut in funding,” said Frayer. “We would definitely have a lot more programming for students, buses, etc. You learn to be more frugal and live without.”
With the assistance of teachers, Principal Lance Delbridge of Mason High School allocates funds allotted by the Mason Board of Education. Frayer said the focus is primarily on academics. If extracurricular activities such as sports want to expand, they have to do it on their own, as the district does not plan to add money to these budgets.
Greg Lattig, district athletic director of Mason High School, said 500 students at the high school play sports. He said the athletics department has had budget cuts of more than $100,000 over the past five years.
“We’ve cut coaching staff, lower-level programs, programs at the middle school, and some things have become self-funded,” said Lattig. “We’ve significantly reduced our equipment budget and eliminated two-way transportation.”