Cowherd: Major cuts not likely

With the Fulton School Board set to hold its annual budget meeting Wednesday night, Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said he is optimistic the district will not have to make drastic cuts the like in the past two years.

“I think we have cut down to the bone, and we have basic classrooms, basic office functions covered,” Cowherd said. “Since 2008-09 — Fiscal Year 2009 — to where I think we’re going to be in Fiscal Year 2012, we have seen a decrease in revenues of $2 million, and our expenses have gone down $1.7 million.”

He pointed out that Fulton has been able to shuffle things around to save money in the athletic department; that the district still has some reserves; that the 2010 bond issue enabled the district to make much-needed infrastructure, technology and security upgrades without eating into district funds; that “our principals are watching every cent”; and that jobs bill money “has prevented us from having to ask for a funding levy in 2012.”

“I believe we are still providing a solid, quality education,” Cowherd said.

Although he cited concerns about class sizes being on “the upper side of being reasonable” and maintaining up-to-date curriculum, and noted that he still intends to recommend that the district put a freeze on the salary schedule, Cowherd said there should only be a few reductions for 2012-13. He said he does not “see a wholesale reduction in force like the past couple of years.”

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