School systems await passage of state education budget

Posted by: Daniel Curtis - bio | email

DOTHAN, AL (WSFA) – School systems around the state, including Dothan City Schools, are hoping lawmakers approve the current draft of the state education budget.

The current version has already passed a house committee and would save a majority of teachers' jobs next year and fund the state's reading initiative. However, it would cut money for new text books and increase costs for health insurance for education employees.

Right now Dothan's school officials say the best case scenario would include only $5 million in cuts. The worst case would be $9 million in cuts.

"Either way you look at this, the school system has to make cuts to make the 2011 budget," says Dr. Sam Nichols, superintendent of the Dothan City School System.

Since early March the school system has worked to prepare for state cutbacks in the next school year.

Some proposed plans include consolidating the two Dothan high schools, but that idea has met stiff public opposition.

"Bigger isn't better, smaller works," says parent Bruce Peterson.

"I know the school board has a tough decision to make, but there has to be a better way to make it happen," says Anne Parker, another parent.

The school board is expected to make a decision on the proposed cuts in the next three weeks.

©2010 WSFA. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.