Board begins to consider cuts

“Dollar” by Flickr user Images_of_Money.

CCS Supt. Gene Harris broached the subject of budget cuts in a presentation to the Board of Education at the Tuesday, Feb. 19, meeting. Despite projections that say the district will stay in the black until the end of next school year, the board is responding to the treasurer’s October 2012 call to cut $25 million from next year’s budget to pad the district’s bottom line. Uncertainties surrounding how much CCS will actually receive from a new education funding formula over the next two years further complicate the district’s finances.

Dr. Harris’ brief presentation included a general overview of what she termed “Reduction Considerations.” The areas, initiatives or departments that could be affected include: mothballing closed schools, departmental reductions in custodial services, human resources and information technology staff, removing a period in the day at the MS and HS levels, transportation, reducing financial services in the treasurer’s office, VCAP, library media, credit flex, unified arts, ROTC, TOSAs, student support services, athletics and non-school based administrators.

When asked by a board member what was being considered for reductions, Dr. Harris responded, “Everything is on the table.” She did indicate her desire to shield the classroom from as much of the reductions as possible. The superintendent also stated that focusing on learning and efficiency during the budget process could result in expansion of district-provided Pre-K, adding reading specialists in elementary schools and eliminating splits at the elementary level.

In May, the board will receive the proposed budget. A vote is expected on Tuesday, June 18. Keep reading The CEA Voice for important budget-related updates.