BREAKING NEWS: School budgets cut 9 percent
Published 8:19 pm Monday, December 15, 2008
Gov. Bob Riley declared proration for state agencies and school systems Monday. Schools will be cut about 9 percent across the board and state agencies 10 percent in an effort to prevent a deficit, Riley said.
"Because of the national economic slowdown, if we remain on our current course Alabama will finish this fiscal year with a budget deficit," Riley said. "That is unacceptable, not only because the state has a legal obligation to operate with a balanced budget, we also have a moral obligation to put Alabama's fiscal house in order. So today I'm announcing a Deficit Prevention Plan to make sure state government lives within its means, meets its obligations and balances its budget. Deficit Prevention Plan requires state government to do what Alabamians are having to do: figure out how to get by with less during these tough times."
Brewton City Schools Superintendent Lynn Smith said the cuts would mean about $450,000 to $475,000 for the school system – or about $45,000 per month for the rest of the year. The school system had already been preparing for cuts.
"This is worse than I thought," Smith said. "But we're OK, for this year. We're not worried about making payroll. We knew it was coming and we've been trying to get ready."
Riley is using money from the state's Rainy Day Trust Fund for schools to reduce what had been 12.5 percent across the board cuts. Smith said that means the next fiscal year budget will be even leaner.