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BoE forced to make $7 million in cuts
Jason Rogers
Assistant Superintendent Jason Rogers - photo by Courier file photo
The Board of Education went through proposed budget cuts Monday, hashing out a list of line items to do away with. According to Liberty County School System Assistant Superintendent Jason Rogers, the board needed to shave about $7 million from the budget.
“We still don’t know the exact amount,” Rogers said. “But we’re being told the worst case is about a $13.7 million cut but the best, and most probable, case is about $7 million.”
Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said making cuts isn’t easy as 90 percent of the school system’s budget goes toward personnel. However, she said through reorganization, very few — if any — personnel cuts will be necessary. Currently, the BoE is not filling positions that come open when teachers retire or move.
Principals from all grade levels, board members and other LCSS administrators worked together to compile the list of suggestions.
The board voted on a number of cuts that totaled just over $8 million, more than half of which stems from a decision to hold off on plumping the system’s reserve account. Normally, $4 million is set aside for future construction projects.
“We can get by for a year or two,” Scherer said. “But, it’s not long term.”
Other short term solutions intended to make up for the shortage in state funding include delaying the purchase of text books and buses.
“Again, we can’t delay it too long,” she said.
Gov. Sonny Perdue’s earlier recommendation to eliminate school nurses stirred debate. However, as the state’s final budget and recommendations haven’t passed yet, that measure wasn’t approved by the BoE.
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