The school system will have to cut an additional $10.5 million from its budget for fiscal 2011, which already includes $26.4 million in cuts and the elimination of nearly 200 jobs, officials said last week.
At the budget and audit committee’s April 1 meeting, T. David Myers, assistant superintendent for business and finance, said the impact of state budget cuts on the school system was about $2.5 million more than budget planners had anticipated. The net revenue reduction in fiscal 2011 is about $53.8 million, Myers said, though only about $1.2 million in increased expenses are expected. The revenue number includes the $12 million in savings from previous years that the county plans to allocate back to the school system.
About $18 million of the roughly $55 million in cuts were accomplished through the reduced contribution to the Virginia Retirement System, he said.
The fiscal 2011 budget the School Board adopted in February includes $26.4 million in budget cuts, but school officials identified another $16.5 million in cuts that would be made if the school system didn’t receive more funding. All of the “second tier” cuts except the additional 2 percent pay cut for staff will be implemented, Myers said, cutting another $9 million. Another roughly $1.5 million in savings will have to be found, he said.
The adopted budget eliminates about 190 jobs. Over 100 additional positions are recommended for elimination in the “second tier” cuts, Superintendent Marcus Newsome said. According to a presentation on the adopted budget, the 117 positions lost by implementing the second tier cuts include: 44 special education staff members, 15 reading teachers, 10 technology integrators, eight microcomputer analysts, five high school deans, five middle school administrative assistants, 11 elementary general education instructional assistants and 38 elementary three-hour office assistants, which equate to 19 full-time employees.
Going forward, School Board Chairman David Wyman said, the school system will need to strike a balance between restructuring, cutting programs and resources it doesn’t want to and the available funding.
“I think the next steps in the reductions are going to be of that restructuring type, and we’ve got to really balance that,” he said. Wyman said he knew there’d been discussion about using the “one-time money,” the $12 million in savings from previous years, this year. The school system needs that money to “pace ourselves down,” he said.
“We’re going to have to take some time to look at those reductions,” he said.
Newsome said the school system lost about 250 positions in fiscal 2010 and will lose another 300 next year. Resizing and recalibrating the system is easier to do in increments, he said.