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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Prescott School Board faces tough task to close budget gap

The Prescott School Board met Wednesday evening and all members realized they faced a tough task to in putting together a budget for the 2016-17 school year in wake of the failed school referendum.

Discussion of the referendum was an agenda item well before the outcome was known. But 24 hours after the vote was 778-744 against, the tone from board members and Superintendent Dr. Richard Spicuzza was a grim but determined one to close a nearly $1.5 million gap by the start of the fiscal year which is July 1.

"I take full responsibility for putting the question to the voters and making them understand what was at stake," Dr. Spicuzza said. "Obviously we didn't do well enough."

Dr. Spicuzza said all options are on the table which may affect the planned school move in late summer along with staffing, transportation and extra curricular activities.

School Board President Mark Helmer said the community will watch and judge how the board handles the present crisis.

"We've been given a mixed message these past few years from approval of a new high school and auditorium to disapproval of funding the operation portion of the budget," Helmer said. "The challenge before us to is to figure out what direction the community wants this district to go in and we will need their help to do so. But I'm confident we can meet this challenge."

See more on this story and the full board meeting in next week's Prescott Journal on newsstands next Wednesday.

 

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