MANATEE COUNTY -- A shut down of the district office during spring break coupled with fewer budget cuts for teachers and classrooms are some changes made in the revamped budget recommendations released today by School Superintendent Tim McGonegal.
The new budget calls for a $2.16 million district office re-organization where the spring break shut down will save the district more than $500,000. McGonegal’s overall budget cuts $11.16 million.
“It’s a cookie-cutter approach,” McGonegal said explaining his addition to the new budget.
McGonegal decreased the reduction in school libraries from his earlier recommendation from $110,000 to $55,000. Plus, he’s asking for fewer dollars to be taken from classrooms.
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He’s also recommending furloughs for some district employees.
Originally, McGonegal recommended at least $2 million be stripped from elementary, middle and high schools. Now, he’s suggested $350,000 be taken from the elementary, middle and high schools throughout the districts. He has also withdrawn the suggestion to eliminate one physical education, music or art teacher from elementary schools.
If the board wants to cut more from the budget, each 1 percent salary reduction generates a savings of $2.3 million, he said. To generate a budget that cuts as much as $14.61 million in savings, the board could approve a 1.5 percent salary reduction for all employees, McGonegal said.
The board is scheduled to vote on the 2011-2012 budget on Monday. Originally, the group was to vote on one of two budget recommendations made by McGonegal on June 13. He offered budgets that cut about $11 million and $17 million from the operational budget.
But the recommendations didn’t curry favor with at least two board members. Board member Robert Gause didn’t want large financial impacts to the classrooms or teachers. He believed the district office could cut as much as $2 million instead of the $1.5 million that was recommended by McGonegal. Gause also did not believe in a furlough system. He suggested an across the board pay cut.
Board member Karen Carpenter was also concerned that setting up a budget based on furlough days was not productive.
McGonegal new plan appears to take some of fuse some Gause’s recommendations with his own.