Wayne County School Board approves budget cuts

Wayne County School District budget cuts

WAYNE COUNTY, Miss. (WDAM) - The Wayne County School Board of Education has approved a plan that will trim $2 million from the district's annual expense budget.

The money would come from cuts in administration staff along with several teaching positions that will become vacant through attrition, which won’t be filled.

In addition, the elimination of the pre-K program for the 2020-2021 school year, along with reductions in several of the district’s operating costs.

School Superintendent Tommy Branch says these measures are necessary in order to get the district back on its financial footing.

“Hopefully by the summer of 2021, we will be on firm financial footing with our finances and with the audits to come, but we have to live within our means." Branch said. “It can be fixed, but it’s not going to be easy, but it is necessary. The people and the students of this county deserve it and it must be done.”

These cuts come on the heels of an audit last year by the Mississippi Department of Education that led to a hearing before the Commission on School Accreditation. After that hearing, the Commission voted unanimously that no state of emergency existed in the school district, meaning the state will not take over the school district.

Branch says that bringing the district into compliance with the MDE audit, the goal is to stop relying on using the 16th Section interest money to pay the bills and use it instead to make improvements at schools all across the district.

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