Proposed Cuts in FCPS Budget Released

Proposed Cuts in FCPS Budget Released

The Fayette County School Board shared where the$20 million in budget cuts could be made.

The Fayette County School Board shared where the $20 million in budget cuts could be made.

FCPS needs to trim the budget by about five percent, or $20 million dollars.

The state funded about one million dollars more than expected, which brought the budget deficit down to $19 million.

“We want all students to be successful,” said FCPS Superintendent Tom Shelton.

The school board is trying to keep cuts away from students.

Shelton said he and the board analyzed possibilities and took community input from the public forums to come up with these proposed cuts.

Shelton said more than $14 million in cuts will come from the administrative level.  That makes up about 60% of the needed cuts.

He said the board asked administrative departments to take a ten percent cost-reduction, some departments took more.

“We were able to do that by creating a lot of efficiencies,” said Shelton.  “We combined some positions and we're reallocating some positions so that savings so that savings is actually at the district level and will not impede any student achievement.”

Shelton said school administrative costs use about one third of the budget while schools manage two thirds of the budget.

Schools were told to anticipate a five percent cut in staff but because of administrative cuts,Shelton said schools should only need to cut three percent which is about 60 jobs county-wide.

He said those positions should open through attrition as people move away or retire.

“This will allow us to continue to move forward with minimal disruption,” said Shelton about the school day and effect on students.

According to the proposed plan, school days for students won’t change.

The calendar for employees will be shorted, most by five days. Shelton said the board would rather cut days instead of jobs or benefits.

Shelton said there will be a one and a half percent cost of living increase based on tenure, STEP, and a state-funded one percent raise for staff.

“That raise basically offsets the reduction of days that we would ask any of our staff to take,” said Shelton.

Shelton said these cuts should still keep FCPS competitive in the education market.

These are just proposed cuts.

The board is still looking into musical instrument renewal, the band, orchestra, gifted and language programs, support for mental health and athletics funding.

The actually budget still has to be passed.  That’s expected in May.

You can see the full breakdown of the FCPS proposed budget cuts here.

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