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Hernando school district readies for $16 million in cuts

BROOKSVILLE — Get ready to make do with less.

Unless the state and federal governments erase a projected budget shortfall that could reach $30 million next year, or an unexpected raft of new students brings extra funding, the county schools will have to shrink next fall.

Last week, the School Board gave its tentative blessing to $16 million in potential reductions from its $159 million operating budget, with $5 million more that could be cut pending union negotiations. That could eliminate about 216 positions from the district's 3,145-person work force, most of them teachers.

Some of the cuts at right could be achieved through retirements or other forms of attrition, but others will likely require layoffs, said Joe Vitalo, president of the Hernando Classroom Teachers Association.

"We're not quite sure what the attrition is going to be this year," he added. "(But) I feel quite sure no one is going to quit to work in Pasco County, because they're not hiring."

Where the cuts are planned

Subject to state budget decisions and a final board vote, those cuts in the Hernando schools could include:

129 teaching positions, by raising average class sizes

6 central office positions

4 special education positions now being funded from general budget

3 math coaches

5 custodians, by raising the square footage each employee must clean

14 teachers, by cutting $800,000 in extra funds for magnet and theme schools

4 media specialists, one from each high school

4 driver's education teachers

10 assessment teachers, leaving 11 to cover the district

12 elementary teachers used in classroom support roles

5 teachers of English for speakers of other languages

10 reading teachers

10 reading coaches, leaving 10 to cover the district

Hernando school district readies for $16 million in cuts 03/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 2, 2009 9:45pm]
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