Note: This story was updated at 12:15 p.m.
Oak Ridge school officials made it clear last week that they’re not in favor of budget cuts, and at least a few suggested they might support a property tax rate increase to prevent reductions in staff and programs.
Earlier this month, the Oak Ridge Board of Education was presented three different budget options to start the annual fiscal discussions. One is known as the “Losing Students, Families, and Staff” budget; the second is known as the “Retaining Students, Families, and Staff” budget; and the third is known as “Attracting Students, Families, and Staff.”
The presentations outline a range of potential cuts including reducing nursing jobs and teaching positions; eliminating the Family Resource Center, elementary strings program, and preschool transportation; and increasing class sizes and stretching the student walk zone to one mile. They also include a range of potential benefits, including starting a digital technology initiative known as 1:1, hiring technology personnel, adding special education and custodial staff, and giving employees a 2 percent pay raise. [Read more…]