Budget shortfall expected for Columbia Public Schools

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | 10:45 p.m. CST; updated 11:00 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 12, 2011

COLUMBIA — Columbia Public School District Superintendent Chris Belcher outlined the potential state revenue reductions of $5.5 million to $6 million Wednesday evening at the board meeting.

Belcher said the district will have a reduction in spending or will need to find new revenue.

The district is looking at possible ways to accommodate budget shortfall by reducing staff positions, insurance and benefit reductions. 

Belcher said two ways to find new revenue is to continue increasing student attendance and go to the voters for a tax levy.

“We don’t really have a lot of options at this time,” Belcher said.

The district is also looking at losing state funding for transportation, the Parents as Teachers program and summer school. 

Belcher said he recognizes that when those issues come into play, board members can't do something to one part of the budget without affecting another. 

Jan Mees, president of the Columbia School Board, said the finance committee will continue to review the budget.

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