PALM BEACH COUNTY(WFLX)---The school board meeting Wednesday night, the talk is about next year's budget. And it looks like it's going to require Palm Beach County homeowners to kick in more money than last year. Board members say it's going to cost about two and a half billion dollars to fund all Palm Beach County Schools next year.
Superintendent Art Johnson says they are going to avoid layoffs. Which is quite a feat considering there's about a 85 million dollar budget shortfall.
To fill that hole they are using federal stimulus money, and cutting other programs. Even though it doesn't look like there will be any layoffs something that has happened at school districts across the county-- teachers remain unhappy.
They say they need a raise, and they should be automatic with experience. The teacher's union says the district says teachers are moving out of the district because they cannot afford to live in Palm Beach County anymore.
CTA President Robert Dow told the board Wednesday that a teacher with five years experience only makes just about the same as a first year teacher. He said that's forcing teachers to leave- superintendent Art Johnson says that's not true. He said teachers understand times are time.
The district says money's just too tight, they cannot afford to give teachers raises given the declining tax revenue here in Palm Beach County. Over all property values have fallen about 10 percent. Not a pretty picture.
Wednesday night's approval represents just a tentative approval of the budget. Expect to hear more push back from teachers as long as their pay stays where it is now.