Birmingham City Schools preparing for proration

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham City Schools is now considering freezing employee salaries and possibly even support staff cuts if proration for this year's budget is as bad as some fear.

The Board of Education was to consider approving the salary freeze plan at Wednesday's meeting but Superintendent Barbara Allen pulled it from the agenda at the last minute.

The board's president says she's not sure if such a move is even legal, and wants to wait until the budget actually starts in October before making any drastic moves.

The school system's CFO says proration could cut 9 to 15 million dollars from the system's budget, and personnel costs take up 80 to 85 percent of the system's expenses.

The teachers union says a pay freeze would violate their contract and they are vowing to fight.

The new budget year does not even begin until October and it could be a while before we know if Governor Riley is going to declare proration and if so, how much. But ideas about what to cut and by how much may come up as early as next week when the board begins to draw up next year's plan.