ANDERSON­ — Plans to cut more than $2 million in spending at South Madison Community Schools will be put to a vote at the board’s next meeting on Thursday.

Several budget reductions options are before the board — from laying off up to 10 teachers to cutting extracurricular activities and requiring athletes to “pay to play” sports.

South Madison’s board also will vote on whether to allow transfer tuition students to attend schools. Such a move could bring annual revenue of about $900,000, based on possible enrollment of up to 150 students from outside the district.

“It will be an exciting meeting,” said Superintendent Tom Warmke, who noted that the meeting will be moved to the middle school in anticipation of a large crowd.

An overflow audience turned out for the board’s January meeting, where the budget cuts and transfer tuition proposals were discussed. The board rejected transfer tuition students last year on a 4-3 vote, but the potential revenue could cushion the cuts the board will have to make.

“There is a high interest it’s obviously centered on: ‘Gee, it’s disappointing we have to make these cuts,’” Warmke said.

The district’s financial deficit also could be softened by potential changes in health insurance benefits provided to employees. Warmke has characterized those benefits as a “Cadillac” policy that costs the system $23,000 per family per year for each covered employee.

“We’ve not had a bargaining session since last board meeting, and there’s one scheduled on the 15th of February” with the South Madison Classroom Teachers Association. Teachers union president Margaret Eversole pledged during the January school board meeting that the union would be part of the solution.

Warmke said at that time that reducing the cost of insurance polices to $14,000 per family would save South Madison $1.7 million.

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250, dave.stafford@heraldbulletin.com.

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