Jacksonville, Fla.-- Parents are worried their kids are going to suffer. A local school district is facing a major budget crisis. They may have to cut programs and even jobs.
The Duval County School District has listened to parents ideas on how to fix it. Action News went to a local business man to ask what he thinks the district should do to make up the shortfall.
All the numbers can make your head spin and trying to make them all balance could give you a headache. Ken Dean knows all to well how hard it is to balance a budget. He's part of the Southside Business Men's Club and is an account executive at Muzak. He took at look at parts of the Duval County school budget. He says they have to go back to the beginning and remember what their objective is. "We have to say why are we were, do we have a purpose, yes, to expand the minds of young people," said Dean.
The district has to trim a 125 million dollars from the budget. They've heard from hundreds of parents and teachers. One teacher has even set up an organization to help. Joshua Hogan is doing a raffle for a 50inch television. All the proceeds go to the Duval school district. "This is where our future starts, in the school," said Hogan.
Dean says that's a start, and there are other things the district can do too. "From copying on both sides of the paper, instead of just one, that's a start," said Dean.
But the school board could consider cutting art, music and extracurricular activities like sports. That's something Dean thinks is a bad idea. "We'll lose out in different ways because kids won't be inspired to be musicians or artists," said Dean.
He says while it is tough to handle all the different tasks a school has, raising taxes isn't the right idea either. Some of the top administrators may have to take a cut. "Instead of let's just throw some money in it, and have some administrator do this and do that, it doesn't work," said Dean.
There are several reasons for this budget shortfall. They include loss of state funding, inflation and penalties for not meeting the class size amendment. The superintendent says the goal is to keep the money in the classroom. It's already looking internally at cutting staff and salaries.
You can go to Hogan's website to register in the raffle at www.tomorrowsfuturefoundation.org