Less than a week after voters turned down a levy request, the Meridian School Board decided this morning not to take the issue back to the polls in August. As a result, the board began working on a plan to cut seven days from the 2011-2012 school calendar, eliminating 100 teaching positions and slicing an untold number of administrative jobs.
"The taxpayers have spoken," Meridian Superintendent Linda Clark told Citydesk. "They expect us to live within the means of state funds and that's what we're going to do."
Clark explained that the reduction of seven days will be added to seven other days already cut from the current school year.
"That's 14 days less than we had just two years ago," said Clark. "There simply aren't any more days to take away. We now have the absolute minimum number of school days that the state allows."
Clark explained that the shortened school year is expected to save approximately $3 million and the teacher eliminations could save $5.8 million. But the district reportedly needs to find a total of $12 million in savings.
"You can see that we still have a long way to go," Clark said.
The Meridian School District will average $3,900 in spending per student for the upcoming school year.
"That would make Meridian the lowest-funded school district in the United States among districts with over 25,000 in enrollment," said Clark.