Half Hollow Hills school district officials have cut about $8.2 million from next year’s budget and say they have about $1.5 million to go.
The board of education has to make about $9.7 million in reductions for next year’s budget to stay within the state’s tax levy cap. The board and district administrators have been meeting for about a month to whittle down that number with a series of decisions on what to keep and what to cut.
Reaching the target would require more reductions or additional use of reserves, or a combination, officials said. Next year’s budget proposal calls for using about $9.5 million in reserves, the same as the current year.
The board presented this week a proposed 2013-14 budget of $226,951,556 — a 2.2 percent increase from 2012-13.
So far, reductions include moving from a nine-period day to an eight-period day at the two middle schools, eliminating some athletic assistant coaches and having students start paying for driver’s education.
Officials have decided not to close a school and to keep the planetarium and natatorium open.
Several people spoke at the most recent board meeting, saying they oppose the schedule change at the middle schools.
Christine Califano, who has three children in the district, said she doesn’t think the change will have “positive outcomes.”
She said students won’t have enough room in their schedules to take some electives and she urged the board to reconsider its decision. Officials say the change would save about $3.7 million.
“It takes very substantial opportunities away,” Califano said.