The Huntsville City Board of Education voted 4-1 to approve the 2019 fiscal year budget for the district, which projects the school system falling short $3 million on the state required one month fund balance. The shortfall includes the district making millions in cuts to non personnel funding.
Superintendent Christie Finley again shied away from saying people in the district will lose their jobs. During the budget meeting Thursday board member Michelle Watkins called on the Superintendent to put a hiring freeze in place until the district has made up the money.
The Superintendent told WAAY 31 she would consider making that move, but has no plans to do it right now. She's evaluating all other options instead to close the deficit without firing people, "attrition, or certain jobs that people retire out of, can we move people in them, or not replace them at all? So, we're looking at those avenues first before we go and say we're cutting everything," said Finley.
The $3 million shortfall impacts the one month fund, which the state requires. The fund covers an entire month of operating budget for the district in case money from the state does not show up on time.
Where this impacts the district would be in a scenario around Christmas where the district pays employees early and money from the state may not be in yet. With the district not having their required one month fund they would have to go borrow money temporarily to make their payroll payments to employees and then pay interest on that borrowed money.
Superintendent Finley said they can alter the budget throughout the year to try and make up the money. WAAY 31 will continue to follow this story closely to find out exactly how this will impact your children and you if you work in the district.