GAINESVILLE — Gainesville school officials who approved a total preliminary budget of $68.4 million last night, say they plan to hold the line on taxes at the current rate of 7.39 mils.
But, in order to match expenditures to revenue, the board will have to dip into its reserve fund by $3.4 million leaving only $3 million in reserves. Keeping taxes down also means an increase in the number of furlough days from 8 last year to 10 next year.
School Board member David Syfan said, “I’m fine with the preliminary budget proposal..But I think we need to look hard at it before the final budget and think about what we want to do and be thinking about next year, too.”
Local funding for city schools is down about $1 million, and state austerity cuts kept another $4.7 million in state funding out of the system’s budget.
Health benefits and teachers’ retirement will cost the city system another $1 million.
City school officials say they have continued to cut costs even as the student population has increased. They point to the fact that the current budget is about $27 million less than it was in 2008 even though Gainesville’s enrollment has increased by more than 1,000 students since then.
Copyright Glory 1330 2013