The H-S and N&O both have coverage of the news that Durham Public Schools may look to cut 377 positions, 226 of which would be instructional, to meet a nearly $13 million state funding decrease projected in the coming budget year while also reducing the request for Durham County funding.
The H-S sez:
The overall school budget for the 2010 fiscal year is expected to be $401.2 million, including $172.2 million in state funding. The current year's budget was originally about $418 million but was reduced by about $6 million thanks to a combination of state and county cuts.
Worth reading, anew: our look at relative funding levels of Durham schools versus other large state systems. Suffice it to say, cuts hurt -- but we here at BCR would like to hope that the school board (which will be briefed on the cuts tonight) will be taking a comparative look at per-pupil funding levels in peer systems in different instructional, enrichment, and administration areas to guide reductions.
Other key facts per Matt "Snapper" Milliken's coverage at the H-S:
- Classroom sizes are expected to rise under any scenario per the General Assembly's planning efforts, as a way of meeting the state budget deficit.
- Almost 80% of DPS' funding goes to salaries and benefits -- making it impossible to avoid layoffs with any significant cuts, as Milliken notes.
- Federal stimulus dollars have limitations and are restricted from use for salaries of workers targeted for layoffs.
- Look for a meeting on May 14 at 6:30pm, possibly preceded by a special work session, for the school board to vote on the measure.