Sunday, June 27, 2010

Schools Director Says Budget Pressures Continue

The director of the Putnam County school system says that inflationary pressures will make it difficult to come to terms on a budget this year. Doctor Kathleen Airhart says that inflation adds about two million dollars, on average, to the cost of maintaining the school program from one year to the next. She had hoped to have a budget in place by July 1st, but has not yet heard anything official from the county's budget committee. Airhart says that state revenues have remained relatively steady, but local monies are still a concern, especially given the fact that sales tax revenues have been steadily shrinking over the past few years. She says that sales tax revenues have shrunk for each of the three years that she has had to prepare a spending plan. And says without some relief, programs like art, music, and career and technical education -- which are not mandated by the state -- may have to be cut. She also says transportation and athletic programs will be looked at as the school board attempts to "share" the impact of any cuts among all programs.