Schools are already sharpening their pencils and reworking the numbers from the first round of proration. With a decrease in state tax revenue and possibly local tax revenue, the impact could cut even deeper.
Houston County Schools are dealing with a loss of nearly three million dollars in funds. They are counting on their own backup fund to carry them through.
Houston County Schools Superintendent Tim Pitchford says, “Because we have a reserve fund we do not anticipate making any cuts in personnel or student programs this year or for 2010.”
Houston County schools have trimmed money from the transportation, nursing and at risk funds. If they face further proration, they will have to look at other areas to cut, such as shorter field trips or central office staff.
“Last resort, will be laying off teachers, laying off aids, or cutting student programs,” said Pitchford.
Dothan City Schools will be presenting a plan to cut 4.5 million dollars from the budget at their January 20th school board meeting based on the current proration.
Dothan City Schools Superintendent Dr. Sam Nichols said, “We are reducing line item allocations to the schools, reducing line item allocation for central office, we are trying to cut our costs in transportation and operations.”
Nichols says they will look at tapping into a 1.5 million dollar rainy day fund and other options before they consider a reduction in force this fiscal year.
“We are going to maintain the high standards we have in place, we're going to maintain the goals we have established for the school system and because we didn't have the funds we are not going to compromise, not one bit, on a child's education.”
Henry County Superintendent Dennis Coe says they face around an 18% reduction in county sales tax as well as the reduction in state sales tax.
In spite of this, he says they have just enough funds to hold their own until the end of this year.
However, if the governor increases proration, they would be forced to cut staff immediately.