But federal stimulus money expected to help shoulder burden
The bad news is that Madison County Schools’ near-$2.5 million funding deficit has grown to $3.18 million.
But the good news is that enough federal stimulus money should be heading Madison County’s way to shoulder that burden.
Madison County Schools Superintendent Mitch McGhee doesn’t know exactly how much is heading the school system’s way, but does think it will be enough to cover the new deficit.
“In the ballpark, we shouldn’t have a problem covering the extra $712,206 that we need to (cover) that $3.1 million in cuts,” McGhee said.
The county school system expects to receive half of its 2010 federal funds this month.
McGhee had asked all principals to cut $102,000 at their schools as part of an overall spending reduction plan to meet the shortfall. But now — with word of the federal stimulus money — those cuts have been reduced to $80,000 per school and are not to include personnel cuts.
“I have asked the principals to put any future personnel cuts on hold until we get the exact dollar amount of the stimulus funds that we’re going to be receiving,” McGhee said.
The school system originally targeted a $2.5 million funding shortfall due to a slumping county digest and decreased funding from the state.
However, state revenue being less than expected increased that deficit to $3.18 million.
Had stimulus funds — American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money — not been available, Madison County would have been looking at severe cuts on top of cuts its has already made.
If state revenue continues to decline, the state will call a special legislative session this summer and make cuts across the board.
“Education will, of course, be part of that,” McGhee said.
McGhee said he’s heard rumors that further cuts to education might force the state to furlough teachers.