The Lauderdale County School District has been cut $4 million in state funds over the last 4 years. So far it has weathered the storm, but Superintendent Randy Hodges says the district cannot make cuts for their teachers any more. He says the more than $500,000 proposed budget increase will be spent on classroom support.
"We're asking for an increase that will go directly into the classroom," said Hodges. "We want to use it for instruction, academics. We must support our outstanding classroom teachers every way we know how, and this is our way of supporting them this year. We've had to sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice for the last few years, but it's time to give them more support in the classroom."
During these tough economic times, Hodges said he's pleased with how the district has handled its finances.
"Bottom line is for the past four years, we've done an outstanding job with the money we've received, and I think we can prove that in many ways," says Hodges.
Besides combining extracurricular activities between all four county schools, Hodges says the district has also had to make cuts in more essential areas.
"A couple of examples: I believe 110 percent in Pre-K, but we had to reduce our Pre-K classes because of the funding situation," Hodges said. "We have larger classes than we'd like to have in some cases because of the funding; we have not been able to address some facility needs because of the funding situation. And I could go on and on, but those are very important areas."
A public hearing will be held Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the County Annex Building to discuss the budget.