St. Lucie School District proposes $26.5 million in budget cuts, including 4-day week

St. Lucie County School District officials have released a menu of proposed budget cuts totaling $26.5 million, which will be presented at a public meeting next week.

The district needs to cut $17 million in expenses to have a balanced budget for next school year, school officials have said.

During Tuesday's St. Lucie County School Board meeting, there will be a presentation of the cost-cutting strategies. But no vote is scheduled to take place on the possible cuts. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. and will be held in the School Board meeting room at district headquarters, 4204 Okeechobee Road, Fort Pierce.

Here is a full list of the possible cuts from a document the district is calling a "Menu of Proposed Strategies to Reduce District Expenditures for 2013/2014:"

Cut scope of athletics $1,000,000

Student assignment changes: $1,000,000

Minimal or no district transportation to areas designated as remote

Student assignment based on zip code

Consolidation of Fairlawn and FK Sweet Magnet Schools and transition Village Green Elementary to choice school

Transition Dan McCarty School to serve grades 6-8 only

Close Garden City Early Learning Academy and Fort Pierce Magnet School of the Arts K-8: $1,500,000

Four-day school week for students and employees: $3,600,000

Elimination of media specialists and clerks in all school libraries: $3,000,000

Reduction in school resource teachers including those who teach physical education, music, art and technology: $1,300,000

Elimination of ConnectED District Call System: $120,000

Reduction in availability of substitute teachers: $1,500,000

Reduction in student services, including social work and school psychology services: $1,400,000

Transition to block schedule at four middle schools: $1,000,000

Privatization of custodial services: $2,000,000

1% reduction in all employee salaries, including board member salaries: $1,800,000

Reduction in academic supplements: $250,000

Two-day furlough for all administrators, including district office administrators, principals and assistant principals (Total = 137 administrators): $100,000

Elimination of one paid holiday for all employees: $1,000,000

10% reduction in School Board contribution for employee health insurance*: $3,100,000

Elimination of district contribution toward employee IRS Section 125 Cafeteria Plan:* $1,600,000

Four-day work week (reduction of one 8 hour day per week) for district maintenance staff: $1,000,000

Reduction in use of outside legal services: $250,000

*Currently in negotiation with the Classified Teachers' Association/Classified Unit

Source: St. Lucie County School District

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