Arlington School District projecting fewer budget cuts than anticipated

ARLINGTON - The budget crunch may not be as severe as Arlington School District officials had anticipated.

In wake of the state Legislature's recently concluded special session, Superintendent Kris McDuffy announced last week that the district will likely have to cut between $1.6-1.8 million out of next school year's budget.

Department heads were anticipating, at worst, having to make $2.5 million in reductions for the 2010-11 school year.

"The Legislature adjourned and we received re-calculated budget projections," McDuffy said during a community budget forum at the district office April 20. "We didn't get the best case scenario, but it's in between."

McDuffy has been holding budget question-and-answer forums at district elementary and middle schools and administrative offices during the month of April. Attendance at those meetings has varied McDuffy spoke to a packed classroom at Trafton Elementary on April 7, but only one community member and a reporter from The Arlington Times spoke were at the April 20 meeting.

Despite projecting smaller budget reductions, McDuffy said that riffs or layoffs would be unavoidable.

Approximately 85 percent of the Arlington School District budget pays for staffing.

Just how many certified, classified or other district staff would be reduced or eliminated as of press time.

McDuffy said that those discussions would continue during the April 26 School Board meeting.

The Arlington School District cut $3.8 million out of its 2009-10 budget.

The Board will approve next school year's budget in August.

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