Schools Present 'Right Budget'
School Superintendent Susan Purser is hoping to hold the line on county funding for the system's new budget.
Purser presented her proposed budget for the 2009-2010 fiscal year at a special Moore County Board of Education meeting Monday night. Her proposal calls for total county funding of $26,069,145 -- no increase from last year's budget. The school system is forecasting cost increases of $750,000, mainly due to utilities, and to counter balance that, is making a 3 percent reduction, or $750,000, in other areas.
"We just have a few challenges as we look ahead at the resources we have," she said. "Anytime that we have challenges in front of us, we always have an opportunity to do what is right. The budget we bring to you this evening is truly a 'right budget.'"
Maintenance would be absorbing the brunt of the reductions, while position and operational adjustments would be made as well. Among those changes include reducing energy and printing costs, establishing cost-saving guidelines for travel, continuing a soft hiring freeze, and reviewing low-enrollment classes and programs, like International Baccalaureate, and dropping them if necessary.
Additionally, the school system will implement a mandatory four-day summer work week system-wide to cut back on costs. The year-round calendar would be included in that measure, and the four Fridays students would miss would be made up during inter-session breaks.
Purser also stressed the importance of not shifting the burden onto Moore County families. Her budget also calls for the establishment of cost-saving guidelines for field trips, which have become cumbersome for some families, the reduction of student fees and the expansion of student accident coverage.
The school system's budgeting process reflects the difficult economic times the entire nation is experiencing. Purser, who has been an educator for 39 years and been through plenty of budgeting processes, said in a media briefing on her proposal that she had never experienced anything like this one.
"I have never had a budget like this, that had to do this kind of work," she said. "I've been through times where I had to do significant reductions. So I know what it's like, but it's never been like this."
For more on this story, see Wednesday's print edition of The Pilot.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com
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