ST. LUCIE COUNTY — The St. Lucie County School Board voted to close Garden City Early Learning Academy but didn't approve a recommendation to close Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts.
During tonight's board meeting, the board approved approximately $13.9 million in budget cuts and tabled a $2 million proposal to either privatize custodial services or to save that amount under an in-house plan.
The School Board needs to slash about $15 million from next year's budget in order to have a balanced budget. Prior to the board meeting school officials released a revised menu of budget cut options with a list of recommended cuts totaling $21.2 million.
The board didn't approve a recommendation to cut school librarians -- a proposal that had been met with objections.
Board members said they weren't interested in moving forward with a list of non-recommended items totaling approximately $6.4 million. The consolidation of magnet school programs at Fairlawn Elementary and FK Sweet Elementary and cutting all employees' salaries by 1 percent and eliminating one-paid holiday for all employees were among the items not recommended by Schools Superintendent Michael Lannon.
Among the cuts the board approved are:
*Health insurance program redesign: $7,000,000
*Transitioning Dan McCarty School to a pure middle school serving grades 6 to 8 only: $360,000
*Transitioning to block schedule at the four middle schools: $960,000
*Reducing one resource teacher at the K-8 schools: $420,000
*Implement substitute allocation system: $750,000
*Maintenance department reorganization: $840,000
Earlier tonight School officials have released a revised menu of budget cut options with a list of recommended cuts totaling $21.2 million in an effort to slash about $15 million from next year's budget.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE NEW CUTS DOCUMENT
Modifications to remote areas (no elimination of service)--$420,000
* Transition Dan McCarty School to serve grades 6 – 8 only--$360,000.
* Close Ft. Pierce Magnet School of the Arts--$886,320.
* Close Garden City Early Learning Academy--$791,694.
Modify Staffing Allocations and Scheduling Methods
* Redesign media services delivery - All media centers remain open. Elem schools and K8 schools, staffed by Professional Media Specialists; Middle and High schools staffed by Media Clerks--$1,431,992.
* Transition to block schedule at 4 middle schools (similar to high school schedule, teaching 7-out-of-7 periods)--$960,000.
*K8 schools - reduction of one resource teacher--$420,000.
*Substitute Teachers - implement allocation system, to be managed by schools--$750,000…
Restructuring District Divisions
*Student Services, Exceptional Ed, and Alternative Ed Reorganization--$1,629,547
*Management of Custodial Services: either in-house plan or external provider--$2,000,000
*Maintenance department reorganization--$840,000
*Reduction in use of outside legal services--$250,000.
Employee Salaries and Benefits
*Reduction in academic supplement allocations--$250,000.
**FY 2013-14 two-day furlough for all 250-day administrators (82)--$55,475
*Health Insurance program redesign, including cafeteria plan contribution--$7,000,000.
Non-Recurring Options (affects 2013-14 only)
*Additional reduction in unreserved fund balance, per mediation--$3,000,000
Total of Recommendations--$21,230,328
This story will be updated.