Pasco district leaders hone in budget requests
Pasco County school district leaders have made no secret of their desire to offer 3 percent raises to all employees for 2016-17.
Getting there is becoming a project.
Superintendent Kurt Browning is spending his days meeting with school and department leaders, looking for ways to reallocate resources and cut expenses in order to cover the potential higher pay. His finance team has said that, after accounting for rising costs, the district has $4 million in "new" money to spend.
Yet new hires to cover a growing student enrollment will cost about $5 million, Browning said. And a 3 percent raise translates into about $11 million in added salaries and benefits.
The finance department is still waiting to know how much money will roll over, unspent, from the current fiscal year to offset some of the anticipated costs. Meanwhile, the administration is talking about scaling back in ways that don't affect classroom instruction or supports. They haven't called for an across-the-board cut though.
"We've asked them to keep their budgets flat, and identify areas they could do without," Browning explained.
The district has yet to make its financial offer during contract negotiations. The School Board has not held any budget workshops yet.