DeSoto superintendent paints bleak budget picture

By Chip Washington - bio | email

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - The superintendent of DeSoto County Schools said Thursday he is working with a very lean budget, and harder times may be on the horizon.

According to Supt. Milton Kuykendall, Mississippi's state tax revenue projections have not been reached for the past 16 months.  That translates to a $700 million dollar plus deficit, which has caused strain on a very difficult budget situation for the Mississippi legislature.

Kuykendall said it is affecting his bottom line.

"We have laid off employees at the central office this week," he said. "We have a hiring freeze throughout the district. We had three million dollars cut from our budget."

Student-teacher ratios will also be affected. Kuykendall said good money management has helped the district stay afloat.

"What we've got in this state is standards and qualifications going this way and funding going this way," Kuykendall said. "Those two don't go together."

Kuykendall said he was told by state officials that the district may face cuts over the next two years that could total $20 million.

"Schools in Mississippi, we're gonna have probably the worse time we've had since the Great Depression," he said.

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