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Proration looms for 2003

By Staff
Hartselle's school will dodge the proration bullet this year, but may not be so fortunate in 2003.
Superintendent Dr. Lee Hartsell said state officials have said proration won't be in place for the start of the 2002 school year.
Leada DeVaney
Hartselle Enquirer
"Hopefully we won't have proration this year," Hartsell said. "But next year will be a different story."
Last year, Hartselle's schools lost some $750,000 to proration and reduced local teacher units by seven positions. The system uses local money to pay for 24 teachers, mostly at the junior high.
Hartsell said the school system should be able to deal with the proration, as long as its doesn't approach levels as high as 8-10 percent.
"You're talking $1 million to $1.5 million," he said. "We can't handle that. I don't know anybody who could."
Much of the cutbacks may be the result of some $86 million in corporate income tax refunds the state will have to pay next year. Even if the state only pays interest on the money – 7 percent or some $6 million- it could cause cutbacks next year.
School officials will also be contending with a state-mandated 3 percent pay raise for teachers.
Currently, Hartselle's system has some $400,000 in reserves. Hartsell said the system usually keeps about $1.5 million in reserves.
Proration and teacher funding will all be brought up as the school system's budget hearings. Hartselle's School Board will begin its budget hearings in June.

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