By RONNIE BLAIR
The Tampa Tribune
Published: April 24, 2008
LAND O´ LAKES - Pasco County School District employees have plenty of ideas on how the district can reduce spending to deal with anticipated cuts in the state budget.
Among their more than 40 cost-saving suggestions: switch to a four-day workweek over the summer, eliminate trips to recruit teachers, call on district staff to serve as substitute teachers, hold off on step increases and pay raises for employees, and eliminate or reduce student field trips.
School district officials distributed the list to school board members and others Wednesday, but no decisions have been made on where the cuts actually would happen.
Administrators started soliciting ideas from employees several weeks ago after it became clear the district faced a severe funding shortfall for the upcoming 2008-09 budget year.
Superintendent Heather Fiorentino told the school board Tuesday evening that she is anticipating the Legislature could trim Pasco´s state funding by $20 million or more.
“We are going to feel the cuts,” Fiorentino said.
Board member Allen Altman said he´s ready to begin scheduling workshops so the board can determine priorities.
Fiorentino said she hopes to avoid eliminating jobs. Her main goal, though, is to make sure the cuts don´t affect student learning.
“We have to keep our funding and our focus on the classroom,” she said.
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