Fiorentino seeks to calm worried workers
As part of her continuing effort to improve communication with employees, Pasco superintendent Heather Fiorentino has sent everyone in the district an e-mail update on the budget situation, which has so many nervous for their jobs.
Don't believe they're worried? Check out some of the questions that employees submitted to the district about their budget concerns. Among them:
Why can't we encourage people to retire early, in order to save money? (The district has a plan.)
Can we eliminate bonus pay for masters degrees at the elementary school? (No.)
Can we voluntarily take a $20 per pay period pay reduction? (Requires negotiations.)
Can we make students buy their textbooks? (No.)
Fiorentino told the staff that the news coming out of special session, though bad, looks better than the worst-case scenarios many had been feared. (That would be 2 percent cuts rather than 3 percent.) Still, she cautioned, "Economic forecasters predict an even more grim budget for next year; therefore, we are now working proactively to develop plans and minimize future pain."
Fiorentino spent most of Monday meeting with department heads, looking for places to slice their budgets to the end of the year. That exercise is scheduled to continue the rest of the week. The School Board has a budget workshop set for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 20, where members plan to talk about spending for the rest of this year and for next year.