UPDATE 2/15/13 @ 7:23 p.m.
BOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Like many school districts across the country, Boyd County Schools looks to shave $1 million off its budget because of lost funding.
"We're just starting to look at proposals and options," Budget Director Don Fleu said. "What we're trying to do is have the least amount of impact on the classroom."
One option of the roughly two dozen ways to save money is for the district to rethink how to finance two school nursing positions, which would save the district more than $95,000.
"I'm not saying the service would disappear, but instead of being an employee, perhaps we would do it on a contract basis," Fleu said. "We could do it on an as-needed basis, through a health department or an independent contractor."
The Boyd County School System has partnered in the past with the Ashland-Boyd County Health Department. The department recently had to pull its nurses out of the schools because of lost funding at the state level.
'It's tight for health departments, and it's tight for school systems," says Jennifer Burchett, who helped oversee the program. "We had a wonderful relationship with them, and were it not for the medicaid reimbursement cuts, I feel we would have still be providing the services."
Currently, the school district has two employed school nurses who cover the county's 10 schools.
"We were able to subsidize in 2012," Budget Director Don Fleu said. "But now we've got to the point we really have to get serious."
Tuesday night, board members were presented a list of roughly 24 options to consider as a way to make cutbacks.
"The goal is simple, to have as little impact on the students as possible," Fleu said.
Some of the options on the list include a pay freeze that could save the district $290,000, a review of the district's $244,000 gifted program and even increasing property taxes to bring in 4 percent more money. That tax increase would generate $230,000.
"That can happen without a recall or going to voters," Fleu said. "It simply requires a public hearing. We'd like not to do that, considering the tax increase residents had to help build the new high school."
The county's budget director says that lost $1 million makes up roughly 5 percent of the operating budget.
"Everybody felt the economy would start to come back; we would be able to tough it out for a year or two and get back on track," Fleu said. "We're looking at this as something we have to live with for several years, and therefore we have to make some major changes and move forward."
The Boyd County School Board is expected to meet again in March to discuss the budget cut proposals.
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