FWCS Passes 2011 Budget, Cost $274M

By Scott Sarvay
By John W. Davis

October 11, 2010 Updated Oct 11, 2010 at 11:23 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Fort Wayne Community Schools board members passed a $274 million budget for 2011 Monday night.

The 2011 budget is nearly $20 million less than the 2010 budget.

However, most of those deep cuts, were already approved earlier this year.

The cuts included closing Elmhurst High School, Pleasant Center Elementary School, outsourcing custodians, and laying off teachers, staff and administrators.

Meanwhile, future budget cuts are looming.

FWCS will need to cut between $2M and $15M over the next four years.

That may seems like a large gap but that's because of mixed funding messages.

District leaders are waiting for a final decision on state education cuts for 2011.

Therefore, FWCS is preparing for the worst case scenario, one that could include closing more schools, more outsourcing and more layoffs.

"We hope the worst case scenario is that the cuts next fall are about $8 million dollars. But if the Governor's cut is larger than our reset then the cuts could be even worse than that," said Fort Wayne Community Schools Chief Financial Officer Kathy Friend.

"If we don't have to do that, all the better. But at least we're in a position right now of figuring out what we would do if that happens," said Friend.

Meanwhile, Friend told FWCS board members that she expects to hear from the Governor's office about possible 2011 cuts around the middle of December.

After that, district leaders hope to have answers about future budget cuts.

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