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First budget proposal presented to school board

As the state Legislature begins to wind down - albeit with a lot of unanswered questions about school budgets - the district is in the process of developing its budget for the 2014-15 school year.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti presented a first draft of a budget proposal to the Duval County School Board in a workshop today, based on conservative estimates since the Legislature has another week to finalize the state budget, which will determine how much funding the district can raise and receive.

Some key highlights from the proposal and the discussion:

  • The proposal calls for a step increase for all employees that are part of collective bargaining units
  • It will reduce the "burn rate" (the amount of non-recurring money used from reserves)
  • The School Allocation Plan could eliminate one clerical position and pool subs from all schools, as well as eliminating testing coordinators at secondary schools and reading and math coaches from A and B schools that already have high proficiency rates. It calls for removing additional security guards from some elementary schools and adding more security guards to larger high schools or schools with a high number of incidents.
  • The proposal called for the district to hold 4.36% in reserves (the state minimum requirement is 3%), but the board agreed that it should be 5%. This would require finding an additional $5.8 million in savings.

 

-- Deirdre Conner