• 59°
Hartselle Enquirer

Schools brace for budget cuts

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
An approximate $100 million state K-12 education budget cut is expected to snip away at many programs and services offered by public school systems across the state-and Hartselle may be one of the deepest gouged.
Following the defeat of the proposed Amendment One, State Superintendent Dr. Ed Richardson revealed last Thursday a series of unavoidable budget cuts to meet projected budget shortfalls in the fiscal year 2004 budget.
"It is unfortunate that these cuts are necessary," Richardson said. "Much of the progress we have made in the last few years will be erased due to program cuts and staff reductions."
According to Richardson, money for teacher material and supplies, purchasing technology, textbooks, library enhancement, and teacher training will need to be slashed or eliminated.
Richardson has also identified the Hartselle City School System as one of the state's 44 public school systems expected to start the 2004 fiscal year with less than one month's operating expenses in reserve.
"I just don't have much information right now and I won't know how this will affect our system until I meet with the State Department of Education Oct. 3," Superintendent Dr. Lee Hartsell said. "I do think we'll be alright for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. Next year will be the big problem."
Neighboring Jackson County, Limestone County and Madison County school systems were also identified.
Franklin County and Lawrence County systems are expected to start the 2004 fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1, with less than two week's operating expenses in reserve.
"These systems will have an especially difficult year ahead. Most have cut programs and services to the quick already," Richardson said.
Several options are being discussed to help local systems meet their own budget shortfalls. They include shortening the school year and charging fees for elective classes and extra curricular activities.
Fees are possible for sports, music and arts programs. Specifics on those options will be announced following the completion of the budget process.
Other budget cut recommendations made by Richardson include cuts in personnel and programs, including money earmarked for fine arts and career technical programs, reduction in funds for graduation exam preparation, and minimizing the number of Alabama Reading Initiative schools from 400 to approximately 100.
The State Superintendent also expects approximately 4,000 teachers and 2,000 support workers will be laid off this spring effecting class sizes and services to students and parents.
The recommendations were made to state Finance Director Drayton Neighbors in advance of this week's special session of the Alabama Legislature.

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle gears up for future growth: City seeks input for new comprehensive plan 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Severe weather preparedness sales tax holiday begins tomorrow

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

‘I hope it fuels them’: Hartselle turns focus to next season after Elite Eight loss

At a Glance

Students advance to final round in 3D CAD competition

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Woman accused of pushing Hartselle woman off cliff writes letter to judge 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle Drama makes a splash with “The SpongeBob Musical” 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hartselle woman marks 28th anniversary of heart transplant 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Woman killed in Somerville house fire identified

At a Glance

Child Safety Conference set for March 5

Editor's picks

Decatur Morgan Hospital getting Safe Haven Baby Box 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Annual tree giveaway set for March 6 

At a Glance

Hartselle native joins American Angus Association  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

FlashFiber celebrates 10,000th customer 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Alleged shooter in murder-for-hire case to stand trial in October 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Garbage routes altered for Presidents Day

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

College Street Players to present magical production of Peter Pan Jr.  

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Hundreds dazzle at annual Cinderella Ball 

At a Glance

More I-65 paving planned for next week

Editor's picks

Tiger Paws roar to victory at national championships 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Key surpasses Pouncey on all-time wins list

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

ALDOT to pave portions of I-65 South this week

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Meals on Wheels waiting list growing as funding reduced 

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Dream, Pitch, Win: Launch Tank competition now accepting applications

FRONT PAGE FEATURED

Priceville students visit HudsonAlpha Institute  

x