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Chatham County Schools face over $700,000 in additional discretionary funding cuts

Posted Friday, July 22, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - During its July 18 meeting, members of the Chatham County Board of Education and Superintendent Robert Logan approached the Chatham County Board of Commissioners about funding a $706,181 school district request to make up additional state education budget cuts. The commissioners did not fund the request, but left the door open for the Board of Education to specify its needs in meeting the additional discretionary funding cut. The board of education remains hopeful county commissioners will use available county resources to help offset the educational budget deficit.

“Charter schools in Chatham County will be negatively affected by this state discretionary cut as well since their funding sources are the same as the traditional public schools,” noted Logan.

The district has made dramatic budget cuts over the past three years. There is already a $5,027,902 reduction in the 2011-2012 budget, which brings total budget cuts to $9 million over the past three years, including cutting over sixty positions.

“By having to use almost $2.6 million of our fund balance this year, we have little left in reserves to meet unanticipated costs that often arise during a school year. The Board of Education was willing to take this chance in order to save jobs and sustain services to children,” Superintendent Robert Logan stated.

When Superintendent Logan and Board of Education Chair Deb McManus presented the school district’s annual budget request to the commissioners in June, the pair made them aware of the fact it was likely the state legislature would increase the discretionary education cut even more than the school district had been told by the Department of Public Instruction to anticipate. The board of commissioners told the education officials to come back to them if the state discretionary cut was greater than already budgeted.

“We have acted in good faith by coming back to the commissioners during this unprecedented education budget crisis. The public has made it clear that its two top priorities are education and jobs. We want to work together with the commissioners to maintain those priorities,” commented McManus.

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Chatham County Schools face over $700,000 in additional discretionary funding cuts
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