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By JUDY UNDERWOOD
Morgan County News Editor
Director of Morgan County Schools Mike Davis didn’t have a whole lot of good news for members of the Morgan County School Board during Monday night’s budget workshop.
Davis said that as projections stand now a half million dollars needs to be cut from the 2008-09 school budget.
Davis listed several places where cuts can be made without affecting the classroom but said even if all those items are cut there will still be almost $200,000 remaining to be trimmed.
On Davis’ list was cutting five custodians, the receptionists at the schools, eliminating a maintenance position that is currently vacant and possibly dropping teaching positions in schools where the student to teacher ratio will allow it.
Davis also asked the board to think about things like reducing transportation costs by decreasing the number of field trips that are permitted. Currently the county charges 50 cents per mile to use a school bus for a field trip. He said that charge needs to be adjusted.
He warned that although he has allocated $200,000 for fuel for buses that it will most likely will not be nearly enough.
“I believe it will go to about $270,000.”
He said staff and administrators will reduce their travel to help hold down travel expenses.
Some programs cannot be cut if the county is to meet the No Child Left Behind mandates and retain its funding status. Davis said he doesn’t see that many places where cuts can be made.
When the Board meets for its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 19, Davis said he would like to have input from the Board members on where they would suggest the cuts be made.
Board member Randy Harlan asked Davis to have a list of teaching positions available to the board for that meeting. Harlan said he would like to see where the extra positions are before voting to cut anything.
Harlan added that he would like the Board to ask county commission for additional funds. He pointed out the the Board has funded all its capital projects without receiving additional funds from the county. Harlan said he also believes that it should be about time that the schools’ portion of sales tax revenue be returned to the school budget.