School Board Delays Budget Vote Meeting
The Moore County Board of Education will take more time to consider $8.2 million in budget cuts for the school system.
The board announced Thursday that the meeting to vote on its 2011-2012 budget, which was originally scheduled April 4, will now take place at 6 p.m. April 11 in the auditorium at Union Pines High School.
Board Chairwoman Laura Lang said in a release that the change allows members more time to consider the comments and suggestions made by parents of Academy Heights students during a public hearing on the budget March 21.
In her budget proposal to the board March 14, Superintendent Susan Purser recommended that Academy Heights, a year-round K-5 elementary school, be retired and the system’s year-round school program be consolidated to two schools in Southern Pines.
The proposal has sparked controversy among parents of Academy Heights students, who repeatedly requested that the board take more time to consider the measure’s potential impact on the school system and the feasibility of finding an alternative to closing the school.
The board approved this year’s budget calendar last June, originally scheduling its vote on the system’s 2011-2012 budget for April 4.
Typically the board meets on the second Monday of the month, but the board moved up the vote because members were expecting to attend the school board conference April 11. Over the school year, the board decided not to participate in the conference, but members originally kept the April 4 meeting date because it had already been announced.
Lang added that the Academy Heights proposal is just one of 20 budget items calling for major reductions that board members must consider, including the loss of 90 positions.
“We want to make sure we have as much time as possible to study all of these proposals before calling for a vote on the budget,” Lang said.
While board members consider the proposed reductions for the school system, they also hope to get a clearer picture of the budget situation at the state level when the N.C. House of Representatives releases its proposed budget in the next week.
The state is anticipating a $2.5 billion shortfall in its budget this year.
Contact Hannah Sharpe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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