Tough decisions led to Huntsville City Schools' debt turnaround | News
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF)- Tough decisions for education in Huntsville City Schools led to success.
The school board approved the 2013 budget that will keep the district in the black and not in the red of a near $20-million shortfall it found itself in at the end of the last school year.
A lot of people questioned how the district could buy laptops and build new schools in the short turnaround from being in debt.
What people have to keep in mind is that each item, if it's technology or new construction, comes out of completely different pots of money so to speak.
The district got out of debt by doing business more efficiently.
Using light bulbs as an example, the district would buy in bulk from companies but they weren't bidding in bulk. They are now, so that's saving money across the board.
The district also consolidated bus routes. To run one bus for an entire school, it costs the district nearly $50,000. That's a big saving when you can cut down on buses.
At the end of the last school year, there was a reduction in force and support workers and some teachers were terminated.
The big help came actually from proration.
When the governor declared proration, it allowed the district to dip into the capital money pot and, for one time only, pull out the money they needed to get back in the black without having to repay that money.
The district qualified for federal funding to pay for the new technology.
With smart money handling, the district expects to have $14-million in reserve by next September.
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