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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pasco School Board turns away from teacher schedule changes

The Pasco School Board has decided to look in places other than secondary school teaching schedules to save money in next year's budget.

"I do think if we can do anything else at all other than going with six out of six, I would like to try it," board chairman Allen Altman told the administration.

Superintendent Heather Fiorentino and her team had suggested having middle and high school teachers teach six of six periods daily to save $12 million. The idea isn't off the table, and it might return for 2011-12. But for now, the board asked the administration to move ahead with a budget plan that uses other options. They include:

  • Use capital funds to pay for insurance premiums, $4,000,000
  • Furlough, $2,100,000
  • Reallocate instructional assignments to reduce one position per school, $4,300,000
  • Employees pay $30 per month for insurance, $3,032,640
  • Eliminate dental insurance, $900,000
  • Eliminate drivers education, $430,000
  • Savings from early retirement program, $4,000,000
  • Savings in IB busing, $90,000
  • Reduce 2 district administrative positions, $100,000
  • Use instructional materials funds, $1,500,000

The board did not take a position on whether to impose a property tax increase of .25 mills, which would generate about $6 million. Members asked staff to draw up budgets with and without the money. They also asked for more information about savings that would come if voters support changes to the class size amendment in November.

"To dismantle student programs to lay off employees based on an October count that in November may change, and then to have to come back again, just seems to me to be detrimental to the process. It's demoralizing to our employees," Altman said. "I'd like us to look at some alternatives."

The board will continue its budget discussions next week.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:01am]


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