Pasco school district freezes most spending
Pasco County school principals and department heads got word last week of an immediate budget freeze for the remainder of 2015-16, which runs through June 30.
The reason, chief finance officer Olga Swinson explained, is to keep as much general fund money free as possible for employee pay.
"In preparation of the 2016-2017 Budget and the Superintendent's desire to pursue a more competitive salary package in fiscal year 2016-2017, effective immediately, it is necessary to ask each school and department to objectively consider all General Fund purchases," Swinson wrote in a memo to staff.
She said daily needs, such as copy paper and cleaning supplies, would be considered essential and not come under the freeze. But in "unique" instances, she wrote, leaders must be "extremely conservative," getting permission from top district administrators before spending.
Superintendent Kurt Browning has stated he wants to give employee raises up to 3 percent. Contract negotiations are set to begin next week.