Fayette County school board told to "trim the fat" - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fayette County school board told to "trim the fat"

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FAYETTE COUNTY, TN -

(WMC-TV) – Fayette County Schools are hundreds of thousands of dollars in the hole, and teachers and staff may lose their jobs as the district looks to stay within the budget.

Fayette County Schools appear to be in a budget crisis.

"It is a business," said school board member Dana Pittman.  "We need to start acting like it's a business we're not running a county welfare system anymore, we need to cut back," she added.

More than $650,000 in the hole, teachers and support staff may be caught in the cross hairs and could lose their jobs depending on what the board decides next month.

Superintendent James Teague estimated 20 positions could be cut.

"We don't believe there's any more fat in this budget," said Teague.  "We have not put a complete pencil to that the number might be 10 the number might be 50."

That concerned several parents like Tracy Wade.

"I'm not confident that they'll make a decision that wouldn't negatively impact no matter what decision they make it seems that the children will suffer," stated Wade.

Board members don't seem set on cutting staff unless they have to, thinking of almost every way to save.

"We don't need a color printer in everybody's office or classroom in the school system," Pittman said.

Teague says the district is in this position because their original budget plan was cut down by county commissioners.

"The first budget we submitted was cut by $2.2 million,"  Teague said.

The board will have a few weeks to look at all options, but for Wade, any cuts in staff could be a dent in education.

"Without bus drivers how we get the children to school and without teachers how we get the children educated I'm not confident," said Wade.

The board and superintendent will get back together in April when they hope to have a better idea of what comes next.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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