Ferguson-Florissant School District faces $10 million shortfall - KMOV.com

Ferguson-Florissant School District faces $10 million shortfall

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By KMOV Web Producer By KMOV Web Producer

(KMOV.com) -- The Ferguson-Florissant School District is faced with weathering a $10 million budget shortfall. The reduction comes on the heels of a $15 million budget cut in the 2010-2011 school year.

Despite the steep cuts required, Superintendent Art McCoy is optimistic the district can handle it.

“I would describe this as being a difficult situation but not insurmountable,” he said.

Dr. McCory laid out his plan to the school board Wednesday night. While personnel costs are the biggest part of the budget, the superintendent has promised no layoffs, no new taxes and no increase in class size.

It’s a bold promise considerint state education funding is down, the federal sequester is taking away funding, Obamacare is increasing healthcare costs  and lower property values mean less property taxes.

The revenue from commercial property tax is also down, with the biggest hit, coming from Boeing. The aircraft giant’s contribution cut will total $1.5 million.

McCoy hopes to recoup some of that loss by creating a nonprofit foundation that can solicit donations from corportations and individuals with hopes of raising $1 million a year.

To cut costs the district will cut librarians, custodians, secretaries, bus drivers and administration through attrition.

McCoy plans to increase energy effeciency in order to cut utility bills. Textbook costs have been cut and transportation costs have been cut $1,000 a day. The goal is create a much more efficient district.

“Simply taking a very thorough look at every line item and making significant changes that still maintain high achievement but at a much lower cost,” McCoy said.

While taxes aren’t planned to increase, students who participate in extra curricular activities and sports will have to pay to play.

“Out district has traditionally not had students pay anything to play or participate in sports,” McCoy said. “We will begin to have students contribute amounts of like $25.

The superintendent promises all of it can be done without hurting the quality of education, but the changes have to win the approval of parents and board members.

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