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Decisions get tougher for school board

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Our Views

 As the Bullitt County School Board considers its budget for the next fiscal year, the choices are getting tougher and tougher.

On Monday night, the board members looked at changing its current program on paying long-term substitute teachers. When retired teachers are in that mix, the cost of the program is large.

But can you place a dollar amount on the experience they bring to the table as experienced substitute teachers?

Tough decision, folks.

Recently, an issue arose over the condition of the tracks at all three high schools.

We’re sure the board members would love to improve the conditions of those athletic facilities. But we’re sure the school system has traditionally not been in the business of providing a lot of money for athletic programs or sports facilities.

The district is facing a continued decrease in state funding. And the cost of doing business is not getting any less.

Employees are scheduled to get a 1 percent increase in salaries (contingent upon the board’s expected approval on Monday). Not enough but still a raise is a raise in these days of stagnant economy.

Will the board again vote to accept the 4 percent tax rate increase this August or September? The real question is whether the board can afford not to accept the allowable increase?

Denise Smith, the district’s finance director, has all the fun at this time of year. She is producing budgets based on assumptions and past history. That is difficult to do.

But the school district has placed a lot of faith in her hands.  With the pie of revenue pie decreasing, Smith’s work is only getting more difficult.

And it is getting more difficult for school board members who are eager to offer more programs for the students, try to attract and to retain quality staff and to do this on a shoestring budget.

Good luck to the five board members.