The Richland-Bean Blossom school board is struggling to find a solution for the district’s budget deficit. The district is currently on track to be $800,000 in the red by January 2013.
Salaries and benefits account for 90% of general fund expenses. The school board is proposing laying off teachers and staff members in an effort to balance its budget.
Stinesville Elementary Principal Bill Buxton says the cuts would be felt in the classroom.
“Mainly from the elementary standpoint it would be in the area of possibly having larger class sizes. Where at the secondary level it may very well mean cutting some class offerings Just from the standpoint of especially the elementary level and the lower grades, you want to keep your class sizes down as much as possible. Especially from the standpoint of how needy the kids are, and they’re especially starting out their elementary careers,” he says.
According to R-BB Superintendent Steve Kane, one factor leading to the budget deficit is the recent loss of state funds. He says funding cuts mean a leaner budget for years to come.
“Unless we have a change in administration, and a different attitude towards public education, we’re going to have to live within this, definitely. We’re going to have to cut to make it,” he says.
The school board is expected to finalize a plan for reducing its budget by May 1st.