Fayette Schools Superintendent Says No Programs Would Be Eliminated By Budget Cuts

Reported by: Mark Stitz
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Updated: 2/25 1:15 am
Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Tom Shelton said Monday that no programs would be done away with as part of an estimated $20 million budget cut.

Due to growing public criticism and rumors about possible cuts in the district, Shelton pulled a plan from Monday night's school board meeting agenda in order to get public input before any cuts would be made.

The budget shortfall is the result of reduced state and federal funding, according to Shelton.  

The proposed cuts would amount to about 5% of current spending.

Shelton said teacher layoffs were not expected, but staffing levels would have to be reduced and that would happen through attrition.

"Eighty-eight percent of our funding is spent on personnel in the district, so there's no way we could make a cut and not have some level of impact on personnel," Shelton said.

Shelton said the proposed cuts would not substantially impact class size.

Some parents at Monday's Board of Education meeting questioned plans to spend millions of dollars on a new high school in Lexington, but the district said the construction money would come from a separate fund from operating the school system.

Currently the district plans to build a new high school on Winchester Road and two new elementary schools to relieve overcrowding.

Shelton said once the new schools are complete, staff from overcrowded schools would follow students to the new school. 

One cut being considered is cutting time off of the school year.

Fayette County students spend more than 2 days in school a year than law requires, according to the district.

Shelton estimates cutting just one of those days would save $5 million.

The public is invited to give suggestions on cuts and ask school officials questions about potential cuts at a forum scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on March 6th in the Norsworthy Auditorium at 701 E. Main Street.
School officials said a Website would be set up to inform the public of the budget cutting process at www.fcps.net/budget
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