Parents voice concerns over school budget cuts

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Before State Board of Education District 5 Representative Ella Bell casts her vote on the proposed budget for the 2004-05 school year, she wanted to hear first-hand how her decision could impact children of the Black Belt.

Bell held a public meeting at J.A. Pickard Auditorium on Nov. 10 in order to get feedback from parents, teachers, and administrators on how the projected $200 million financial downfall would change the way students learn.

For the past few weeks, Bell has been traveling across the district talking to constituents about the proposed cuts for the state’s public school system. Selma was the second-to-last stop on her way to Montgomery to meet with the state board on Thursday.

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During the meeting, Bell listed all the cuts being planned-from raising the student/teacher ratio to charging for textbooks-and discussed at length people’s opinions of these changes.

On the topic of consolidating city school systems into one county system, Selma City Schools Superintendent Dr. James Carter said this would not do much to save the state money.

Bell encouraged all those who attended to write their worries or complaints and she would take them into serious consideration when voting.

From what she has uncovered on these fact-finding missions across Dallas and surrounding counties, it seems that Bell will

be voting against many of Richardson’s budget proposals.

Bell said she and the other

board members will likely vote on these cuts individually.

If Richardson’s budget fails to pass, Bell said, the state superintendent must create a new budget to meet the board’s demands.