Parkway School Board approves budget cuts
By: Carol Enright
On Feb. 6, the Parkway Board of Education unanimously approved budget cuts that would reduce expenditures by up to $4.1 million over the next two years. These latest cuts come on the heels of $7.4 million in reductions in last year’s budget. But district officials said, due to the economic downturn and decreased tax revenues, that last year’s cuts were not enough to restore fund reserves and balance future budgets.
Staff reductions, which district officials said would be achieved entirely through attrition, make up the bulk of the cuts. They include eliminating 18 administrative and support staff positions, three middle school math facilitators, six to eight secretarial positions and 12 high school positions. Expenses will also be reduced by shrinking program and school budgets by 5 percent, reducing utility costs, restructuring sixth-grade camp and summer school, and generating new revenues by maintaining the current enrollment level in the Voluntary Student Transfer (VST) program and increasing rental fees for building and athletic field usage.
Parkway’s Chief Financial Officer Mark Stockwell told the Board in January that these most recent cuts, along with anticipated revenue growth, would replenish reserve funds to the Board’s minimum requirement of 17.3 percent of the operating budget within five years.