As Stimulus Tap Turns On, Districts Can’t Escape Cuts
New Federal Aid Will Help, but Many Local Administrators are Still Facing Tough Choices
As the first federal stimulus money began flowing to states last week, local school administrators across the nation were crunching numbers to determine just how much relief to expect.
Jerome E. Colonna, the superintendent of the 37,600-student Beaverton, Ore., school district, was working on a few potential budgets for the 2009-10 school year. One "best-case scenario" would require the district to cut about $26 million from the $314 million that was budgeted this school year. The worst-case scenario would force a cut of about $50 million.
The economic-stimulus money "is greatly appreciated, and it has been extremely helpful to date," Mr. Colonna said, because it has prevented the district from having to make even more severe cuts in the current school year. But it’s not going to stop the layoffs from coming, he warned. The district is engaged in weekly meetings with its community and staff members to lay out...
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