There was no public comment, put Superintendent John Harper did announce five furlough days for employees and commented on the budget, which faces an approximate $15.8 million shortfall compared to last year, a 4.5 percent cut in instruction, 30 percent cut in general administration and 16 percent cut in central support services.
Harper said as the budget has seen a reduction over the years, the only positions lost to employees in the school system included Spanish teacher positions at the middle school level and parent coordinators. He said the majority of these employees found positions elsewhere in the school system.
"In the three years that we have reduced the budget by $22 million, those are the only people that have really been affected," Harper said. "The people have retired and left the school system, attrition has taken care of the positions we would have lost, and we still help maintain effective student-teacher ratios inside the classroom, which is very important to us as well."
Chief financial advisor Todd Hooper said the projected ending general fund balance of the budget was below expectations, but Harper said he hopes for more state funding.
"The $8.5 million [ending general fund balance] which is projected would be below what we would want to target as 10 percent of our general expenditures," Hooper said. "Basically right at $11 million is what you typically want to maintain in a fund balance."
Harper said furloughs and downsizing positions in the school system has helped with costs over the last few years.
"We've cut back a lot of positions, from 236 to a reduced amount," Harper said. "I have two people in the curriculum area who will be taking on double job responsibilities, so we've eliminated a couple of positions there, we've eliminated over 20 positions in the board office in the last couple of years. We focus on classroom instruction because that's what's important."
The board will vote on its budget at 6 p.m. on June 30.