FWCS Facing $4 Million In 2011 Budget Cuts

By John W. Davis

December 14, 2010 Updated Dec 14, 2010 at 12:08 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne Community Schools is projecting four million dollars will need to be cut from their 2011 budget.

In 2010, FWCS made more than $15 million dollars in cuts.

"It's a continuous process," explained Fort Wayne Community Schools Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend.

State and local tax collections are down.

Property values and assessments are falling and property tax caps are now law in Indiana.

All of those are factors that affect the amount of state funding that local school districts receive from the state of Indiana.

"We'll go back and look at schools again. We'll look at teachers again. We'll look at maybe employee benefits. We'll look at everything again to be certain there isn't something that could contribute to that four million dollar cut," said Friend.

Friend hopes budget cuts will be finalized by April 2011.

That would give the district time to reassign teachers and students, if classroom cuts are made.

The cuts would go into effect for the 2011-2012 school year.

Also impacting future budgets, Governor Mitch Daniels' educational legislative agenda.

Daniels want lawmakers to implement sweeping changes amounting to major educational reform.

Daniels said he will urge legislators to reward teachers for student performance.

He also wants to empower school leaders to improve failing schools and educational options for parents, which could amount to more public charter schools.

Meanwhile, FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson told the public that outgoing district 4 board member Kevin Brown had a mild stroke Friday.

He spent two nights in the hospital.

Robinson said Brown wanted to attend his final board meeting but was told to stay home and rest.

Brown will be replaced by Jordan Lebamoff.

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