Petal School District forced to cut thousands off budget - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Petal School District forced to cut thousands off budget

PETAL, MS (WDAM) -

School districts across the country are struggling to find money to keep classrooms running and it's no different here at home. Petal School District will be cutting between $500,000 and $700,000 from its operating budget for the 2011-2012 school year.

Each school will be forced to trim their budget by anywhere between 5 and 25 percent but where the cuts will be seen is yet to be determined.

Each principal will decide how to trim their school's budget, but Petal Superintendent John Buchanan said cuts will be made in non-instructional areas. Buchanan said one-time expenditures like the purchase of a batch of new computers will likely be the items that fall victim.

"We had decreased funding from [Mississippi Adequate Education Program] - that's the state money. Secondly, we had a pretty significant increase in the employers contribution to the retirement system and then we had a large increase in our property liability increase. So as a result of that we recognized we had to make some cuts across the board and that's where we started," said Buchanan.

The superintendent says cutting costs won't mean cutting staff - there will be no layoffs and the district has actually hired six new teachers to keep class sizes down as the district continues to grow.

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