Butler County Schools Face Budget Crunch For 2013


By Catalina Trivino

With the 2012 fiscal year ending this month, school districts are making budget plans for the upcoming fiscal year. And the Butler County School District may not have the easiest year ahead of them financially.

It's the first time since 2010 the school district is projecting another budget shortfall. School officials say they'll have to keep a lid on spending for the 2013 fiscal year.

"We're going to end the year with approximately $1.2 million in the general fund, which is about $500 thousand dollars less than what we're required to," Said Chief Financial Officer for the Butler County School System, Brandi Autrey.

Which means Butler County School leaders are bracing themselves for a budget crunch in 2013. The school district's chief financial officer, Brandi Autrey, says they're required to keep about $1.68 million dollars for the school system to survive for a month. And if they can't meet that one month operating balance, they'll be forced to create a district-wide improvement plan.

"We have a shortness of money to fund for papers and copies and stuff like that, which impacts the kids. Also, with cutting up money we're afraid we'll lose more teacher units and so that's a big concern. Also, the transportation losing money," Said Greenville Middle School teacher, Kelly Flowers.

Which is one reason the school system says its in this situation. Expenses, such as fuel, are on the rise. It's also getting about a half million less than what's needed to pay off a bond from 2007, when it made renovations to all the county schools. The state also sent half a million less compared to last year to cover teacher's salaries and fringe benefits.

But has the school board considered revisiting the possible consolidation of Mckenzie and Georgiana schools?

"We're not looking at it affecting any areas. We'll have to do that one-month plan, but there has been no discussion about Mckenzie closing or anything else," Said Autrey.

It's too early to know how this will affect classrooms, but Autrey says there are no plans to cut any teachers. The school system will have their second budget meeting on Thursday to continue discuss how they will be using their funds for the 2013 fiscal year.

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