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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Pinellas: Budget shortfall keeps growing



Janssenphoto Pinellas superintendent Julie Janssen (left) says in a video address to all district employees that next year's budget shortfall will be "much more" than the $48-million figure district officials have been using.

"The painful reality is that we now know that we need to trim much more than $48-million from the 09-10 budget," she says. "Cuts of this magnitude will affect all of us. In the coming weeks, we will look at every aspect of our operations to improve efficiency."

The district has begun the process of cutting its budget for next year by proposing the closing of several schools and taking steps to reduce busing costs. One proposed step: overturning a policy that allowed students to be "grandfathered" into their old choice schools rather than being forced to attend their new zoned school. As many as 20,000 students could be forced to change schools if the school board approves the measure.

But those steps would cut the budget by about $17-million at most. Looker for proposals soon on even steeper cuts.

Regarding the shortfall, how much is "much more" than $48-million? District officials say they'll release that information at Thursday's School Board workshop.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 10:08am]


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