MONTGOMERY, AL (WBRC) - As the first day of Fiscal Year 2010 rolled around, school systems across the state where faced with having to cut more from budgets that for many, have already been stretched thin. That's because Governor Bob Riley has announced a seven and a half percent proration for this year's education budget. That means schools will see about 400-million fewer dollars than they were expecting. "We're postponing maintenance. We're postponing purchases and we're looking at ways to reduce utilities," said Randy Fuller, superintendent for Shelby County Schools. He says the proration means his system must cut 9.6 million from their current budget. That's tough considering 735 new students have enrolled in Shelby County this year, but the funding they'll receive is based on the lower numbers from last year.
"It becomes difficult. Our class sizes are a little bit larger this year because we did have proration last year."
Jefferson County superintendent Phil Hammonds says this year's cuts weren't unexpected, and so his system has been conservative in spending over the last several years in preparation. "We've built up a good reserve and we've had to tap into that significantly," Hammonds says. He adds that departmental budgets have been cut by 30-perent, transportation has been chopped by 25-percent. The system has also closely monitored utility and travel costs.
Administrators in the Birmingham school system declined to comment at this time saying they are still in the process of deciding exactly where and how they will make cuts. And officials with the Hoover school system say they too will they will continue to examine all areas of expense control as they head into this fiscal year.