In a motion made by Holli Cash, the board voted 7-0 to approve cuts to this fiscal year's $907 million budget. These cuts are to align the budget with the reduction in state funding that Gov. Sonny Perdue announced would be made to all districts in Georgia.
From the cuts, the three furlough days the district announced it would be taking at its last meeting Jan. 28 will save the district an estimated $9.5 million. The district will also save nearly $5.2 million in adjustments of its State Health Benefit Plan because of those three days.
An additional estimated $1.16 million will be cut because of the elimination of a Key Team teacher program, an initiative that board Chairwoman Lynnda Crowder-Eagle said never got off the ground because the district couldn't afford it. Central office will be cutting its operating budget by 3.1 percent, a cut that will save the district nearly $200,000.
At the board's budget workshop following Wednesday's meeting, Mike Addison, the district's chief financial officer, presented the board with an overview of how the FY11 budget is looking.
The district is estimating a budget shortfall of between $60 and $100 million.
This estimate, Addison noted, is such a wide range because the district can't fully predict the state and local revenues. However, it can predict expenditures.
Sanderson said he would like to revisit plans for the 2011 budget before the board's meeting Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. This gives the board members time to digest Addison's predictions and come up with new ways to cut expenditures.
Addison noted that the shortfall is a product of a variety of things, emphasizing that the state is not funding school districts at the level it used to.
"With the latest round of cuts, we're actually up over $200 million in austerity cuts," he said of state funding.