The Milton-Freewater School District Board took another step toward reaching its budget goals Thursday morning when it approved a memorandum of understanding with the teacher's union.

The Milton-Freewater Education Association agreed with the proposed idea to cut days from its 2009-2010 contracts to help with the district's budget woes. That proposal included cutting five student instructional days and one in-service day, totaling six for teachers and librarians (certified staff) and five days from other staff such as cooks and bus drivers (classified staff).

Those in the district office agreed to cut eight days and administrative staff agreed to cut 10 days - though their agreement wasn't part of the association's agreement.

Those cuts are expected to save $350,000 from the 2009-2010 budget.

The district expects to end this year with a carryover of $3.2 million and expects to get $15.3 million from the state.

In its press release the association also noted that for every $100,000 more the district gets from the state or ends up in its ending fund balance, the district will add back a work day with students.

On the flip side, if the district continues to have funding difficulties in the coming school year, the association said it would re-evaluate in February and, "if necessary, agree to additional cuts where appropriate."

Superintendent Marilyn McBride said of the six board members present, four - Art Doherty, Duane Geyer, Dennis Burks and Nancy Kessler - voted for approving the memorandum of agreement with the association, two - George Gillette and Sharee LaRue-Wright - did not.

The budget committee approved the $18.9 million budget at its meeting Tuesday. The school board will address it on June 23.

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