School board approves district budget cut

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By Cathy Chen
<cchen@hilite.org>

On March 23, the school board unanimously voted to approve the $1.5 million budget cut as presented at the Feb. 9 school board meeting.

Prior to the voting, school board member Gregory Phillips proposed a few amendments to the budget cut, including the reversal of the reduction of three ENL teachers in the elementary schools, which would total a $100,000 cut from the budget. However, his amendments were unsuccessful due to the lack of a second by another board member.

School board secretary Patricia Hackett also said she does not think this proposal is “perfect,” but all board members expressed the need to approve this budget cut, even in light of possible stimulus money from the government, to avoid a potentially dire financial circumstance for the district down the road.

“There are so many unknowns that I think it is only responsible to make some decisions so we won’t have a deficit, because schools can’t run on a deficit,” Superintendent Barbara Underwood said during the meeting.

“(The approved cut’s) present pain will save a lot of significant pain later,” Phillips also said during the meeting. “If we do not act tonight, we will face a dramatic problem very shortly. We have to move forward.”

The official budget cuts are posted here.

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