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School board talks cuts

Projected state budget cuts have forced the Pulaski County School Board and cabinet members to discuss the possibility of making cuts of their own for the Pulaski County Public School system’s 2009-10 budget.
The cuts the school board discussed in a budget workshop last week range from reductions in personnel to savings in individual departments within the school system, according to a memo regarding the budget workshop that was sent out to all employees of Pulaski County Public Schools on Monday by Dr. Don Stowers, superintendent.
The school board has the task of finding ways to make a target reduction of $2,417,828 in the school system’s budget for 2009-10, according to the memo.
This number was reached based on several factors. One is Gov. Tim Kaine’s $2,828,685 reduction in the school system’s budget for 2009-10. Added in to the equation is the fact that Kaine’s budget eliminates the School Construction and Lottery funds comprising the PCPS system’s $579,202 facilities and capital improvements budget, so this amount can be deducted from that shortfall, according to the memo.
However, the school system uses $168,345 of these monies to pay debt service on their telephone system, so this recurring expense must be added back in to the budget, the memo states.
Those adjustments result in bringing the target reduction to $2,417,828, as mentioned above.
“Approximately 85 percent of our budget goes to salaries and benefits for our employees,” Stowers stated in the memo. “We concentrated our analyses on places in the budget where we could find savings in the 15 percent not dedicated to salaries and benefits before we looked at personnel cuts.”
This included discussion of savings in individual departments, indirect costs, reimbursement for joint services, base expenditure adjustments and making Camp Cougar (a summer alternative to the physical education program during the school year at Pulaski County High School) self-supporting, with a total reduction of $543,146, according to the memo.
As for personnel cuts, the following categories of personnel were identified for possible reductions: one administrative position, two professional positions and 10 classified positions in the School Board Office and non-school areas, totaling a reduction of $619,573; three administrative positions, 16 professional positions and 26 classified positions, all within the schools, for a total reduction of $1,328,106.
Additional cuts related to personnel supplements included: eliminating the retiree sub-for-insurance program, reducing additional days supplement by half, reducing coaching supplements by 10 percent, and reducing extra duty supplements by 10 percent, for a total reduction of $153,080.
The possible reductions in personnel and supplements totals $2,100,759, and added with the suggested non-personnel reductions, totals $2,643,905, the memo states, which is a $226,076 difference above the target reduction of $2,417,828.
“None of us wants to see any one of our colleagues lose his or her job,” Stowers stated in the memo. “Some of the positions that we have identified for possible cuts are not filled at the present time, and we do not intend to fill them. We hope that attrition will help with some of the other positions. But, if present conditions hold, some positions must be eliminated.”
Since the General Assembly has not yet approved Kaine’s budget or created and passed a budget, no recommendations were made during the budget workshop for the school board to take any action on these suggestions.
More detailed information regarding these budget recommendations can be viewed at the PCPS system’s website, www.pcva.us.

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School board talks cuts

Projected state budget cuts have forced the Pulaski County School Board and cabinet members to discuss the possibility of making cuts of their own for the Pulaski County Public School system’s 2009-10 budget.
The cuts the school board discussed in a budget workshop last week range from reductions in personnel to savings in individual departments within the school system, according to a memo regarding the budget workshop that was sent out to all employees of Pulaski County Public Schools on Monday by Dr. Don Stowers, superintendent.
The school board has the task of finding ways to make a target reduction of $2,417,828 in the school system’s budget for 2009-10, according to the memo.
This number was reached based on several factors. One is Gov. Tim Kaine’s $2,828,685 reduction in the school system’s budget for 2009-10. Added in to the equation is the fact that Kaine’s budget eliminates the School Construction and Lottery funds comprising the PCPS system’s $579,202 facilities and capital improvements budget, so this amount can be deducted from that shortfall, according to the memo.
However, the school system uses $168,345 of these monies to pay debt service on their telephone system, so this recurring expense must be added back in to the budget, the memo states.
Those adjustments result in bringing the target reduction to $2,417,828, as mentioned above.
“Approximately 85 percent of our budget goes to salaries and benefits for our employees,” Stowers stated in the memo. “We concentrated our analyses on places in the budget where we could find savings in the 15 percent not dedicated to salaries and benefits before we looked at personnel cuts.”
This included discussion of savings in individual departments, indirect costs, reimbursement for joint services, base expenditure adjustments and making Camp Cougar (a summer alternative to the physical education program during the school year at Pulaski County High School) self-supporting, with a total reduction of $543,146, according to the memo.
As for personnel cuts, the following categories of personnel were identified for possible reductions: one administrative position, two professional positions and 10 classified positions in the School Board Office and non-school areas, totaling a reduction of $619,573; three administrative positions, 16 professional positions and 26 classified positions, all within the schools, for a total reduction of $1,328,106.
Additional cuts related to personnel supplements included: eliminating the retiree sub-for-insurance program, reducing additional days supplement by half, reducing coaching supplements by 10 percent, and reducing extra duty supplements by 10 percent, for a total reduction of $153,080.
The possible reductions in personnel and supplements totals $2,100,759, and added with the suggested non-personnel reductions, totals $2,643,905, the memo states, which is a $226,076 difference above the target reduction of $2,417,828.
“None of us wants to see any one of our colleagues lose his or her job,” Stowers stated in the memo. “Some of the positions that we have identified for possible cuts are not filled at the present time, and we do not intend to fill them. We hope that attrition will help with some of the other positions. But, if present conditions hold, some positions must be eliminated.”
Since the General Assembly has not yet approved Kaine’s budget or created and passed a budget, no recommendations were made during the budget workshop for the school board to take any action on these suggestions.
More detailed information regarding these budget recommendations can be viewed at the PCPS system’s website, www.pcva.us.

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