District 51 bracing for even steeper budget cuts

Less than a year removed from slicing $10.5 million from its budget, School District 51 may have to make more tough choices in formulating a 2011–12 budget.

December and March state revenue forecasts will paint a clearer picture of what may happen to school district funding, but a September revenue forecast has District 51 officials guessing cuts could amount to around $10 million for 2011–12. The prospect, although nowhere near final, has some school board members losing sleep, including Leslie Kiesler.

“It was hard enough last year. It’s going to be harder this year” to make cuts, she said.

The district wants to gather community input on potential cutting scenarios before making any decisions later this school year. The district recently launched a survey on its website with six questions that ask people to prioritize a list of items they would cut first to last if cuts had to be made. A seventh question lists potential cuts that would be worth similar amounts of money and asks respondents to pick which item they’d cut if they had to choose one option or another.

The survey is available at the district’s website, http://www.mesa.k12.co.us.

The survey includes suggestions similar to an online survey conducted last year by the district, including changes in school day lengths or school year calendars, transportation, and extra curricular budgets. Some or none of the items may ever be used.


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