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School Budget Cuts Are Deeper Than Pasco Anticipated

A meeting to discuss the budget is set for Wednesday, May 11.

For months, Pasco County school officials have been bracing for funding cuts in the ballpark of about .

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 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.

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.

Tracey Suits May 11, 2011 at 01:38 AM
Until parents/community members feel a responsibility for these budget cuts, whether it be by increasing taxes (another penny for Pasco?), going to a four-day school week, or eliminating some athletics, nothing will justify the massive loss of teachers projected. When these teachers are cut, Pasco's economy will suffer because it's jobless citizens will not have any money to spend. Keep people, cut programs.
Nan May 11, 2011 at 05:33 PM
Keep people at all costs be it a 4 day work week, athletics, furloughs, or cuts in pay across the board to all on the payroll. People are this country's greatest commodity. People(teachers) are needed to keep from shaking this county's progress. Be it test scores progress, or the county progress coming out of the recession. Cut the people and this county will suffer across the board in all areas important to our society.
Mike Levine May 12, 2011 at 02:25 PM
Are you NUTS. Today's kids get the education they deserve. Just like the voters who can be easily swayed by a catchy phrase, slogan or jingle. The students are turning into "Mindless Mist Wanderers." Have you seen the DEAD EYE stares these teenagers give you. God help them if the only comments made about their future is based in the PASCO school sys. I hope the teachers don't require them to read any of the local papers. Try reading the Economist, New York Times or Investor's Business Daily. Those publications at least will teach them about the value of a $1. You people have forgotten that it's OUR MONEY you're spending. Just do it!
mike May 17, 2011 at 06:56 PM
thats because all they teach is socialism,thank god ,that didnt take yet.i sent five kids to pasco schools,,im glad there out.

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