More Education Cuts?

By: Demetria McClenton Email
By: Demetria McClenton Email

Job layoffs, larger classrooms, and a reduction in transportation services could soon become a reality for schools across Alabama.

Governor Robert Bentley is considering reducing funding for this year and next year, which would put a strain on schools' limited resources.

News 4's Demetria McClenton reports on possible education cuts.

"I can tell you it will be catastrophic, it will be bad all over for everybody," said Dr. Sam Nichols, Dothan City Schools Superintendent.

Nichols reacts to news that Governor Robert Bentley is considering cuts in this year's education budget.

"3% proration for this school which would be another $1.5-Million and 10% next year which would be $5-Million. Another $6.5-Million on top of what we already lost, we're getting into the bone now," said Nichols.

"For this district it would be $1.3 -$1.4 million. We did some cuts last year to cut almost that same amount of our budget last year,” said Ozark City Schools Superintendent Michael Lenhart.

Lenhart says the cuts last year affected more than 60 people in the Ozark City School district.

“There's really not much more cutting that we can do without affecting the size of the classrooms, cutting programs, and cutting bus transportation."

Both Superintendents insist their school systems will not go in the red.

"We will continue to operate with fewer people and fewer budgets but we will operate and provide a quality education," said Nichols.

“Most people when they find themselves in a mound of debt do two things, they cut spending and try to increase revenue and I haven’t seen anything yet that talks about increasing revenue," said Lenhart.

“Here we are again trying to find ways to reduce what we already budgeted for," said Nichols.

Governor Bentley will make his final decision on whether to proceed with the cuts after meeting with Alabama's Superintendent of Education.

He says he hasn't put a timetable on his decision yet.

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