By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dawson County School System faces a grim financial future
Placeholder Image
The Dawson County Board of Education approved a $35 million budget for fiscal year 2013 on Monday.The proposed spending plan, which is down from about $38 million in fiscal year 2012, took another hit Monday when the 2013 tax digest came in nearly 15 percent lower than last year.According to school system officials, that will amount to about $3 million less in revenue.Combined with last year’s 10.5 percent drop in the tax digest, the system has experienced more than a 25 percent decrease in two years.The falling tax digest comes in the wake of less state and federal funding in recent years and rising health care insurance premium costs.Superintendent Keith Porter said the situation makes it increasingly difficult to balance resources and expenditures.Chairwoman Elaine Wilson summarized the heavy mood: “It almost makes you want to cry.”Porter reminded the board and staff that to reach this budget they cut more than 30 positions totaling nearly $2 million.“It is becoming more and more difficult to provide the services that our children deserve,” he said after the meeting.“We haven’t adopted new textbooks in seven years. We have continued to raise the class sizes due to the reductions in staffing. With this year’s reductions, we have no buffer to continue to absorb positions, so this reduction strategy has been maximized.”