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Schools seek $9-million bump

Published 11:15pm Friday, March 22, 2013

The School Board approved a staggered bus schedule for district schools at a meeting Thursday night, setting new bell times from the next instructional year. It also approved the 2013-2014 Budget, which is now in the hands of city officials.

Under the new schedule, Elephant’s Fork, Kilby Shores, Northern Shores, Booker T. Washington and Southwestern elementary schools will start a half-hour earlier, and the other elementary schools 15 minutes later. Middle schools will start 15 minutes earlier and high schools 50 minutes later.

According to a presentation during the meeting, the approved schedule was supported by about one in three of those who commented on the three proposals put forth and the current schedule, as opposed to about one in five who supported the next most popular alternative.

The new schedule is anticipated to save about $400,000 annually, mostly through reducing the number of contracted drivers to 145 positions.

The spending plan board members approved for the next instructional year asks the city for an extra $9 million, and incorporates a cost-of-living raise for all educators and an extra bump for those in their seventh, eighth and ninth years with the district.

Board members approved the new schedule and budget by unanimous vote. Administrators gave them three proposed new schedules to choose from after an initial proposal, which would have saved about $680,000, met with resistance from many parents.

The budget’s cost-of-living raise would cost $2 million, while the extra raise for those in their seventh, eighth and ninth years, in a bid to stop them leaving for more money in other school systems, has been priced at $930,478.

During a public input session Monday, the call for the city to fully fund the school system was loud and clear; but with a decline in real estate values and increased funding requests also coming from city departments and agencies, the city is facing pressure from all sides.

The city manager’s budget proposal, which will include her recommendation for local school funding, is set to be revealed April 3.

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  • TB_suffolklady

    Bye bye adhering to the government when it comes to special and gifted ed. Whitney would rather cut those jobs and department, so that he can make over 160K and Chavis gets 150K

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  • happyGoLucky

    Oh brother… Truck traffic ?? Try going down route 13 at 7am. There are plenty of things to whine about but this is ridiculous.. This is a good move. Makes good sense.. Unless the busses run at 4am there always be some traffic obstacle to navigate. Sorry guys be this just seems a little petty.

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    • am

      Ever seen an 18 wheel truck pass another one on Kenyon Road? I have. Petty? I hope it isn’t your family driving in the other lane when it happens again

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      • happyGoLucky

        I have seen multiple 18 wheelers passing others on several rural roads. I have had to pull over on the side of the road to avoid a head-on collision no less than 4 times in the past 7 years, twice with my child in the car. Last year a horrible head-on that resulted in death. However, I am highly skeptical that tractor trailers are only on these roads during the “proposed” schedule change. That is my point.

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  • dollyb12

    I dread thinking of what this new school bus schedule is going to do to traffic. Then again, with some schools starting later, maybe the new schedule will cut down on these reckless parents driving around like it’s the Daytona 500 Speedway. Where are the traffic cops?

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    • am

      Trucks are also a huge problem, especially in and around Forest Glen and Lakeland. Just a metter of time before a really bad acident happens.

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      • KNRMCO

        Very true AM. I haven’t been around the Lakeland corroidor since my daughter grad 2002..it was bad then; I can only imagine what it’s like now!

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