School Districts Facing Harsh Reality

By: Lindsey Brown Email
By: Lindsey Brown Email

Public school districts are finding out just how bad state budget cuts are going to be.

Because of declining revenues, Gov. Haley Barbour ordered a five percent across the board decrease for K-12 education last week.

The reduction amounts to $1.3 million for Meridian Public Schools; $1.4 million for Lauderdale County School District and $666,000 for the Neshoba County School District. Every single district in the state will see significant funding decreases.

Meridian superintendent Charlie Kent said he has felt since sometime last year that these cuts would come. But now looking at these numbers, he says the reality has set in that changes will have to come for the district.

While nothing has been decided yet, Kent says the district could see the cuts come in the form of a possible hiring freeze or a cut to overtime pay, and larger class sizes.

Kent says he doesn't want to do those things, but this is what districts across the state are facing.

"Eighty-five percent of the budget is salary and fringe benefits," said Kent. "And if we could not add to that, I think that we could be O.K."

Kent says he is currently crunching numbers and will make some determinations in coming days.

Who will be hurt worse by recent budget cuts in Mississippi?

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  • by Anonymous Location: Bailey on Sep 25, 2009 at 09:53 AM
    Why can schools be buggeted first before anything else?? I guess education is not important, u already draining our budgets with these stupid uniforms that our kids have to wear now u want to take away more money from the schools and teachers!
  • by Meridian Tax-Payer on Sep 18, 2009 at 11:40 AM
    The (9)NINE administrators at the high school is a great place to start with cuts in the district. Is V. Hood so incompetent that she need eight assistants/associates to assist her in running MHS? is a high school not a nation!
  • by Brenda Location: Meridian, MS on Sep 15, 2009 at 12:02 PM
    I don't think they should cut the funding for schools. For the last three years the students do not have textbooks that they can take home to study from. They have to rely on their own notes and handouts from the teachers. They built a 9th grade building which was not needed. Another waste of a $1 million dollars of tax payers money. A Superintendant that is more concerned about giving points for dress codes and behavior. What about academics, where is the reward in that? Get rid of Administration starting from the Superintendent and the High School Principal.
  • by deon on Sep 10, 2009 at 08:18 PM
    Fire some of the administrators and shorten the school calender year.I say that because those two issues consume the greatest amount of the school budget, being that it costs money to provide salaries to administratives and school maintenance during the school year. If those things are done, that should free up some money.
  • by Citizen Location: Meridian on Sep 10, 2009 at 06:33 PM
    I really don't understand why there is no money in the budget for education, instead of my car tag going down every year, it stays relatively the same. Garbage, sewer, and taxes increase, but yet there is not enough money to educate our children. Education should be a priority and if cuts are to be made, they need to be made elsewhere. What are they thinking?
  • by Concerned Parent Location: Kemper County on Sep 10, 2009 at 01:01 PM
    My daughter started school this year in the Kemper school district and I hate to see this district lose any money when every article that is written about it states how poor it is. We are trying to do better ,but I can't see how that's possible when we are steadily losing money. I hope that the governor can find other ways to cut the budget instead of taking money from already struggling schools. I am afraid for our children's future.
  • by Retired teacher on Sep 10, 2009 at 11:42 AM
    I have to agree.....the schools have WAY too many is terrible that teachers have such overloaded classes and workloads while the number of positions allocated to administrators just keeps increasing!
  • by Teacher Location: Meridian on Sep 9, 2009 at 07:03 PM
    Someone please feel free to correct me on this, but, if I remember correctly, when I graduated from Meridian High School in 1989, we had two administrators: one principal, and one vice-principal. I realize there are more students attending school in our district now than back then, but, seriously folks, do we really need nine (yes, you heard me right, nine) administrators at Meridian High? One principal, one associate principal, two 9th grade admins, one 10th grade admin, two 11th grade admins, one 12th grade admin, and one special-ed admin!! All this, AND, there is also a director of small learning communities! There’s easily over a half-million dollars in salary wrapped up in these people a year. While Kent didn’t say that any teachers will be laid off, I say all this to get to my main point: it would be a real shame if Mr. Kent laid off one teacher in this district when there are so many administrators at the high school.
  • by NotShocked Location: Where ever on Sep 9, 2009 at 06:56 PM
    "Eighty-five percent of the budget is salary and fringe benefits," said Kent Guess what? You can start by trimming the Central Office staff and the 15 AP's that are at the high school.
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