School Budget Crunch

Suwannee County School District officials say the budget is tight right now, and cutting back on non-essential spending may be the key.

Schools will also have to continue efforts of conserving energy.

High school student Roger Davis was not fond of the district's decision to reduce field trips last year to save on transportation costs.

Roger Davis said, "It was a little irritating at first because the fact that my ninth grade year we did go on field trips. In a lot of cases, that's the best hands-on learning you can get. Then they cut that."

School board members say money is granted from the number of students enrolled, but enrollment has declined over the past five years. On top of that, the district has to pay back part of the funds for the new Suwannee Elementary School, which of course means paying for new teachers and insurance costs.

District officials say these expenses were unavoidable because a new school was the only way to comply with Florida's Class Size Reduction Amendment.

Aliasha Howard, a parent, said, "I think it's better that they have the smaller classes. Maybe the kids will be taught better than what they were when the classes were bigger."

The district will allocate about $2.1 million for funding the new school this upcoming school year. The business director says the school district's general funds will also help with the tight budget.