CHCCS Board Looks at New, Less Painful Ideas for Budget Cuts

By Danny Hooley Posted April 16, 2014 at 3:08 pm

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education is looking at a new list of budget reductions, after scrapping a plan to immediately take a big chunk out of the gifted specialist program.

At last week’s meeting, the School Board abandoned a planned $2.9 million budget request to the Orange County Board of Commissioners.

That figure included nearly $910,000 in recommended cuts. More than half of those were from gifted specialists.

Advocates for gifted specialists raised an outcry, and members of the board had their own doubts.

After much deliberation, the school board voted to request $3.8 million from Orange County, without the recommended cuts.

That was done with the understanding that the chances of getting that total amount were very slim.

So plans were made immediately to come up with a new list of reductions, based on consultation with parents and staff from all schools in the district.

At Thursday’s meeting of The Board of Education, members will consider a new list of immediate cuts of around $821,000, plus ideas for future cuts.

A list of recommendations from the office of the Superintendent includes making smaller cuts to gifted specialists; reductions at the Central Office; reductions from North Carolina Virtual Public School; and a cut to start-up funding for Northside Elementary.

The goal is to eventually find $2.2 million in cuts, in order to deal with reductions in state revenue. Big cuts in gifted specialists, as well as teacher assistants, may still be on the horizon.

Thursday’s meeting of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Center, located at 750 South Merritt Mill Road in Chapel Hill.

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