Budget cuts the key topic at annual PTA conversations meeting
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At Tuesday’s annual PTA conversations meeting with the school board, budget concerns were at the top of the list. Out of the 65 million dollars the school district receives from the county, more than 3 million dollars will have to be cut from the budget. The state could potentially cut back 129,000 dollars of their funding by 4.3 percent, forcing New Hanover County schools to go without an additional five million dollars. "Since we don't know what our budget will look like for next year. We are looking at multiple scenarios, so we are prepared to make what cuts we get asked to make,” said board member Elizabeth Redenbaugh. "At this time we don't know exactly what is going to take place with budget cuts. We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” said board member Donald Hayes. One proposed reductions on the table could change the starting times for schools. That would help cut down on transportation costs, eliminating 16 buses on the road. Other proposed cuts go as far as reducing art and athletic programs by ten percent. Cutting down 25 percent of the nursing staff in schools is also an option. But, with board members trying to save as many jobs as they can, employees may be seeing cuts in other places. "If 85 percent of our budget is staff then we will have to get a little bit more creative and maybe not have so many layers in our staff so we have the operating budget. We have 15 percent, and if we are taking about cutting millions out of the operating budget, we are not going to have anything left,” said Stephanie Kraybill, the PTA council president. The board has until June to approve the final budget. By the end of this week, parents will have a chance to send in cost saving ideas directly to the finance department by a link on the New Hanover County school website.

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I THOUGHT THAT WAS WHAT THE LOTTERY WAS FOR?
I beg you parents - please listen: You have got to be kidding me! The central offices at both NHC and Brunswick County Schools are so top heavy it is embarrasing! The Boards of Education use the need to cut teachers as a scare tactic for the parents so they will revolt and call their local county officials; however, all they need to cut are some of the many layers of coordinators, supervisors, directors, and asst. superintendents. With very few exceptions, there is no need for these positions. Most positions are just dumping grounds for ineffective school administrators the boards are too scared to dismiss. Also, has anyone asked about the travel? I would imagine that the local boards have not completely cut out all travel. The schools will not shut down if some teacher or central office coordinator cannot attend some math or science workshop. Before all of you parents get scared about bus schedules - know this - it is a scare tactic used by the schools - those teachers HAVE NO INTENTION - of allowing the administration to start school at those early hours!
From what I've heard the "early hours" you are talking about are: High school/middle school students start at 7:30 and going to 2:30, normal elementary school hours. And Elementary school starting at 9:00-3:30. My question then becomes, since I have an elementary school age child and I have to be at work at 8:00 where does my child go until then? He is not old enough to stay home and be responsible for getting himself to the bus stop at the correct time. Am I going to have to get before school daycare AND after school daycare? That's just going to make daycare centers have to drop off and pick up young kids. It's a bad idea all around for elementary kids to have to be in that late for working parents. Make the high school/middle school students go to school at 9:00 and get out at 4:00. The are old enough to get themselves to the bus stop and wait there by themselves.
First thing they could do is cut out bussing and save on fuel...It makes absolutely no sense bussing kids all over the county and wasting fuel and if you want your kid to go to a particular school, drive them yourself. Why should my tax money go to pay for unnecessary fuel costs???
First of all, you have no clue what you are talking about. The school board designates the school children are assigned to, and it is usually NOT the one closest to their home. This is designed to create diversity in the population of the students attending each school. Your comment suggests that parents simply pick and chose the school for their child, and are picking schools that are the farthest away. My son's school has over 900 students....can you imagine 900 cars trying to drop off/pick up each day?!? Schools prefer the buses because they reduce the amount of traffic at each school, and ensure that the children arrive on time and are ready to start instruction when the bell rings. And for all of you who are fortunate enough to be able to send your children to private schools, you need to remember that the parents of children attending public schools are ALSO TAXPAYERS! I think that there are several ways to "tighten the belt" in these hard times, but if the school board dictates that a child attend a school way across town or at the other end of the county, then they should provide transportation.