Pinellas: Class-size amendment chewed into reserves
So much for a financial cushion. Last fall, Pinellas school district officials had high hopes they could use $21.7 million in emergency federal money to soften the blow of next year’s massive budget cuts. But most of it has been gobbled up by unexpected costs.
The main culprit, district officials said: the hiring of more teachers to meet class-size limits.
The district banked on 80 fewer teachers than last year, assistant superintendent Kevin Smith said. They ended up with 42 more. At roughly $62,500 a pop, those 122 extra bodies are costing the district about $7.7 million.
“I’m just floored,” school board member Janet Clark told The Gradebook Tuesday. “I don’t understand it. I really don’t. I need to know why we were off by that much.” Read more here.