District faces difficult budget season

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 09:42 AM.

The district will see additional funding from the state, but as financial officer Sissy Worley said those funds are earmarked.

The state will send down $2,500 for teacher pay raises – the district is unclear if that is in perpetuity or a one-time bonus, whether that amount will cover benefits and the raises must still be negotiated on the local level – as well as for safe schools and technology and additional computer bandwidth.

However, the district could not spend any of those dollars to address the budget shortfall, Worley noted, without facing a financial penalty, taking flexibility from the equation.

“We are getting more money but it is earmarked for specific items,” Worley said. “None of it will help us with the budget shortfall.”

The answer, Norton said, may ultimately come to a declaration of a financial emergency followed by a declaration of a reduction the workforce.

Norton said input from the district’s labor consultant indicated the workforce cuts could be accomplished without sacrificing state constitutional class size mandates.

He held out the possibility that the district could reduce the workforce and reach other cuts through employee furloughs.

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