For months, Pasco County school officials have been bracing for funding cuts in the ballpark of about $60 million for next year.
Their ballpark guess was wrong.
According to school district spokeswoman Summer Romagnoli, the state’s budget is actually calling for cuts that are a bit steeper.
“The final state budget reflects a slightly larger shortfall than we were anticipating,” she wrote in an email. “This brings our total shortfall to over $60 million for next year.”
The district had anticipated state funding to be cut by about 7 percent. The final numbers fall in at 8.43 percent, or about $540 per student. Pasco serves just under 67,000 students.
Other funding sources have dried up to combine with the state cuts to create that $60 million shortfall. They include a loss of federal stimulus dollars.
While final figures were still being crunched last week, the school board set a workshop for tomorrow, May 11, at 9:30 a.m. During that meeting, the board is expected to start making “decisions about how to absorb this shortfall,” Romagnoli wrote.
In advance of making any decisions, the district has held a series of public meetings to educate residents about the funding cuts. Ideas on the table include making cuts to a variety of programs, the possibility of layoffs and more. One board member has even floated the idea of a four-day school week.
Tomorrow’s meeting begins at 9:30 a.m. at the district complex, building 3, training room B. The complex is at 7227 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.
For residents who cannot attend, Patch will tweet live from the meeting to keep readers up to date on any developments. Follow us on Twitter at @LandOLakesPatch to stay on top of what’s happening.