Surprise! School Districts Having a Hard Time Making Ends Meet

Which has to do with the high unemployment rate both nationwide and regionally as well as declining tax revenues and a severe retraction in credit. In other words, money indeed doesn’t grow on trees and the good times of throwing around money to civil servants is over.

From WYFF:

EASLEY, S.C. — A South Carolina school board has voted to eliminate more than 100 positions because of funding problems.

The Pickens County school board voted Monday to cut 105 positions for the coming school year, according to district representative Julie Thompson. She confirmed the cuts would save more than $2 million.

In addition to eliminating positions, the board also approved reduction in days for some employees, Thompson said. The reductions will mean a pay decrease for those affected, she said.

Superintendent Henry Hunt said the plan is not final. Hunt said state funding might require further reductions or could ease the cuts.

District officials said they had to act now because they have a deadline to offer contracts for the coming year.

Two trustees voted against the cuts, one saying salaries of top employees should be cut first.

Yeah, good luck with that happening. According to The Independent Mail the positions cut will include:

nearly 30 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the teacher ranks, including 10 at the elementary schools, 14.5 at the middle schools, and five at the high schools,

18 elementary literacy specialist positions,

two reading interventionist positions,

16 media clerk positions,

a reduction of 8.6 FTEs at the central office,

a loss of 6.25 FTEs at the Alternative Education program,

seven guidance counselor FTEs

Since the school systems here helped create a state where adult illiteracy is around 15% (and that is widely considered an improvement!) I’m not crying over this. But once the school budgets are trimmed to the bone, what other cuts are coming down the pike?

Look for cuts in Law Enforcement if the economic picture here doesn’t change in the next year, and frankly looking at the financial data (including the new housing numbers) I am not hopeful. As all the states get crunched by the coming commercial real estate market implosion and the second wave of A.R.M. resets local governments are going to be forced to tighten their belts and trim down civil employees, including cops, and make other desperate moves like early releases of prisoners a la California.


4 Responses to “Surprise! School Districts Having a Hard Time Making Ends Meet”

  1. Dustin on March 24th, 2010 8:54 am

    Really!? Pickens County is going to fire staff and save $2mm dollars? Who will fill all the rooms of all the NEW schools Pickens County just built!!! Unless there was safety issues with the old school buildings…. I think I’d rather have fully staffed smaller schools. This is a product of Stimulus money. Here is a wheelbarrow of money to build new schools… sounds great, but now those new schools have to be maintained…. where is that money going to come from? TAXES.

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  3. Curious on March 24th, 2010 11:35 am

    In 2003, the school district spent $146,991,208 and 55.7% of its budget on “instruction.”

    In 2008 the district spent $192,504,343 45.2% of its budget on “instruction.”

    Maybe these cuts are overdue!

  4. Rob Taylor on April 5th, 2010 4:21 am

    Considering the outcomes in terms of graduation and literacy rates I’d agree with you.

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