Jefferson County Public Schools facing about $2 million in cuts

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Jefferson County public schools’ budget will be cut by about $2 million for the 2012-13 school year, and if there is no increased state funding for 2013-14, the schools will see even greater cuts.

The official 2012-13 budget will be approved in May, but the numbers may change, Superintendent Cindy Stevenson said.

“I know the legislators worked hard, but we’re losing school dollars,” she said.

The 2012-13 budget will drop from $511 million for the 2011-12 school to $509 million.

Jeffco has nearly 86,000 students in the district, and the budget breakdown per student is $6,309, which is only 21 cents less per student than the previous year’s spending. The 2009-10 school year’s per pupil funding number was $7,069, Stevenson said.

Although the 2012-13 school year will not see a major drop in funding, she said, district faculty and staff are looking ahead to the 2013-14 year, and have expressed concern.

If the Legislature does not increase funding, Jeffco will see $43 to $45 million in budget cuts next year.

Stevenson said this would be the worst-case scenario as the district can no longer afford to pull from the reserve funds and savings.

She said reserve funds have helped the district keep budget reductions from affecting classrooms.

“We had a very large savings account,” Stevenson said. “We knew we were going to need it.”

Since the school district has received less funding from the state each year since 2009, it has continued to pull from the reserve funds without having a chance to rebuild reserves.

That reduction in the reserve funds will mean a lack of increased funding in the future will have a greater impact.

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