Nov 4, 2011 12:42 AM by John Romero

Area schools eyeing more budget cuts

It seems another, deeper round of budget cuts are on the horizon for Colorado Springs schools. On Tuesday voters across the state defeated Proposition 103, which would have raised sales and income taxes to help fund schools.

District 11 CFO Glenn Gustafson says cuts in his district will be steep. "We're probably looking at another $8,000,000 - $9,000,000 in budget cuts." he explains, "This will be our seventh year in a row we're reducing our budget. So, it's pretty serious."

For a district that's already had to chop, the next round of cuts, he says will be felt by students and parents alike. "Nobody's safe this time. We'll have to look at every position." he says, "We've been pretty good for the last 6 years at keeping the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. This time, we're out of those options."

The first group likely to feel the hit will be teachers. "We'll have to look at compensation. It's 85% of our budget." says Gustafson, "We'll either have to look at the number of people we have or how much we pay people. Furlough days will be on the table as well as other options."

District 11 isn't alone either. D-49 is also feeling the pressure after a bond issue and mill levy were shot down by voters. "That would have been 21 teacher's jobs that we would have been able to keep and staff in our district." explains D-49 School Board Secretary Tammy Harold.

Instead the district is now looking at cutting about $4,000,000 from next year's budget. "We cut transportation and administration. We're down to the bare bones, so now it's definitely going to affect our classrooms and how many teachers we can have in our classrooms." explains Harold.

Tax increase questions are never popular, especially in a bad economy. But now these districts and many others across the state say they have no choice but to trim "We understand that." says Harold, "It's just heartbreaking to see what's going to happen with the children and their education."



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