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Jeffco board approves 2010-11 cuts

The Jefferson County school board Thursday evening approved a 2010-11 general fund budget of about $661 million, down from this year’s $676 million.

The district is making the budget work with about $14 million in cuts and use of some $36 million in reserves.

The Jeffco vote kicks off a month of hard choices by school boards across the state. Faced with reductions in state school aid, virtually every district is facing the need to make cuts and dip into reserves. School boards must formally adopt their 2010-11 budgets by June 30.

In Jeffco, general state aid dropped from $562 million to about $540 million for next year.

The cuts are translating into lost jobs, frozen salaries, larger classes, higher fees and reduced services around the state.

Most school finance experts believe budget pressures will continue beyond next year. Jeffco officials predict that it will be four years before revenues return to 2009-10 levels. The district still has $100 million in reserves for use in future budgets.

The 2010-11 cuts in the state’s largest district include the loss of some 136 positions, including about 70 teachers and a dozen assistant principals, larger class sizes, fewer electives, reduced support staffs at all levels and fewer bus routes.

Here’s a sampling of estimated cuts and budget board meeting dates in some other major districts:

  • Adams 12 – $19 million, June 16
  • Aurora – $17.2 million, June 15
  • Cherry Creek – $17 million, June 14
  • Douglas County – $31 million, June 15

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