School budget cuts work hours, positions

Apr. 10, 2014 @ 05:48 PM

Superintendent Mo Green recommended a budget that he said will cut the number of work days for teacher assistants and other paraprofessionals.
Green’s $606.7 million recommended operating budget would need $41.5 million in federal funds, $364.2 million in state funds and about $201 million from the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and other local funds.
This is about a $5 million increase from what the superintendent asked from local funding sources last year. The total recommended operating budget is about $23 million below what Green recommended last year.
Green has made budget reductions and redirections that could save the school system around $9.4 million.
Green has proposed reducing work days for teacher assistants and paraprofessionals by 4.5 days to save nearly $600,000; increase class size by .3 students to save nearly $2 million; and eliminate 15 high school graduation coaches positions and 7.5 high school testing coordinator positions for a total savings of about $1.4 million.
“During the last four years, GCS has requested an additional $30 million in operating funds from the county. Of those dollars requested, we received approximately $1.9 million, which, when coupled with cuts and redirections at the state level, have left the district struggling to cover basic operating costs,” Green said. “While our funding has stayed essentially flat, costs have not.”
Green also proposed consolidating bus routes for two magnet schools in Greensboro, Phase I of changes to magnet school transportation. Phase I would save $639,599.
Eliminating Equity 2 designation and increasing the qualification for Equity 3 to 85 percent of students impacted by poverty could save the district $1.55 million and about 30.5 teaching positions. Equity schools are schools with 65 percent of students receiving free or reduced lunch.
“Reducing expenses from a budget that has been significantly cut during the past five years is a painful process for everyone,” Green said. “We have done all we can to cut budgets to keep people and other resources in the classroom, but there comes a time when doing more with less is simply not possible. That time is now.”
jhowse@hpe.com | 888-3617