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District searches for ways to cut costs

MAROA -- The Maroa-Forsyth School District is fighting to keep its budget spending in check.
MAROA -- The Maroa-Forsyth School District is fighting to keep its budget spending in check. The board voted Monday night on hundreds of thousands of dollars in cuts. WCIA-3's Alex Davis learns it means major changes.

"Every school's got to make their cuts wherever they can and they're never going to make everybody happy, so they have to do their best with making good decisions on the cuts they feel are really necessary."

Their reserves have been depleted and now their Board of Education is down to the wire.

"The board is looking for ways to fill a nearly $1 million budget deficit by making some $450,000 in cuts. But, this isn't the first time they've been faced with such a funding challenge."

Five years of repeated budget shortfalls have taken their toll on Maroa-Forsyth School District. The root cause comes from a drop in state funding.

"Right now, we're no different than the rest of the school districts. We've got to tighten our belt, look at areas where we can potentially save some money, but our focus is always, students first and then, obviously, the people that work for us. We try to take care of them as well."

The current proposal which went before the board Monday night includes cutting staff, eliminating the cross-country team and raising the price of school lunches; ideas which could cut expenses and raise revenues.

"All those programs that we had, all the people that we added are all important to us. Things that we felt were more important that we had to have for our students, but at the end of the day, unfortunately, we're forced to make some tough decisions."

But, with so many cooks in the kitchen, the process has been lengthy. Monday night, the group okayed a deal to keep family and consumer science courses, which pulls them further away from their target of $450,000 in cuts.

"I just really think that they need to really do some deep searching and looking and seeing what is really the best for all. What the cuts need to be, not just the easiest thing. That's not always the best answer."

The board expects to vote on the plan by spring.
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