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Jordan district anticipates budget shortfall

Jordan district anticipates budget shortfall



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SALT LAKE COUNTY -- Best case scenario -- the Jordan School District will be short $30 million. District officials know that based on the shortfall last year.

Steven Dunham, the district's assistant director of communications says, "We plugged a significant amount of our deficit from our rainy day fund. [That was] a one-time fund, and those funds are now gone."

Dunham says district officials are preparing three different scenarios for $30 million, $35 million or $40 million shortfalls. The goal is to make the cuts have as little impact on the classroom as possible.

"That way the board has options available to them. As soon as the legislature makes its final decision, the board can move and act," he explains.

In order to fill these gaps, Dunham says they've made drastic cuts, and more are possible. Some things they may cut include non-teaching personnel, certain school programs and some office staff. Dunham says the idea of furloughs is also being tossed around. Plus, he says they've considered cutting administration salaries in the past.

"Our superintendent has gone over every single account in the district and has already directed each of the directors of those accounts to cut their budgets to their minimum. Once they did that, he went back and asked them to cut some more," he says.

But there is no guarantee that the state won't impose a bigger shortfall than what the district prepared for. Dunham says Superintendent Barry Newbold initially proposed up to $44 million in cuts, but that's as high as they went.

"They have a little bit of wiggle room if it does get worse. Not much, but a little bit," Dunham says.

He says the district is still taking public input to help decide where potential cuts could happen. Results from the public input session have not been released yet, but Dunham says they might come out Feb. 9.

E-mail: pnelson@ksl.com

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Paul Nelson

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