Schools face 3 percent cuts

Published 7:08 pm Monday, February 28, 2011

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Monday announced 3 percent proration in the state’s education budget, a move that could result in cuts by the Chilton County School System.

Proration for Fiscal Year 2011 was expected, Superintendent Dave Hayden said, but the effects will still be felt.

“Obviously, we won’t have as much money, so we’ll have to make some cuts,” Hayden said and mentioned teacher units, non-teaching positions and supplies as possibilities. “Eighty-seven percent of what we spend goes to salaries, so cutting anywhere else…there’s just nothing to cut.”

The education proration also came with a 15-percent cut in the state’s General Fund.

According to a press release from Bentley’s office, Alabama is left with a $165 million shortfall in the Education Trust Fund and a $110 million shortfall in the General Fund.

“Both our Education Trust Fund and our state’s General Fund budgets are based on unreliable revenue projections,” Bentley said in the release. “Now, five months into the 2011 Fiscal Year, it is clear that there is not enough revenue to sustain either budget. Proration is necessary to balance the budgets.”

Hayden said he will take part in meetings with state education officials and other superintendents Tuesday and Thursday in Montgomery and that he hopes more insight into the situation can be attained.

“I’d like to know more, but all we can do is take what they’re telling us,” he said. “We’re watching and hopeful.”