DeSoto County schools plan around budget cuts

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - For administrators of the DeSoto County schools, working a plan around possible state budget cuts could be a challenge, but will their academic standards be compromised?

The DeSoto County School system was recently designated as the largest in the state, but large or not they are about to get their budget slashed.

"We can stand a two percent cut, that's $2.5 million. We have been good stewards of our money. We've managed our money well," Superintendent Milton Kuykendall of DeSoto County Schools said.

Governor Haley Barbour recently announced that all state agencies cut at least 2 percent from their budgets to offset revenue shortfalls.

Kuykendall said it could get even worse next year.

"If it's four percent, your looking at about five million dollars. So say that's anywhere from $8-10 million we will be shorted," Kuykendall said.

So what will the district have to cut as enrollment continues to increase? He said the areas of transportation and maintenance will be addressed, but what about additional teachers?

He hopes that the legislature will use part of the $371 million in the rainy-day fund to help the situation. Kuykendall said no matter what happens, quality will not suffer.

"We've got the greatest kids in the world. We've got the best teachers in america. We've got a good school district and we're gonna keep it that way," Kuykendall said.

Kuykendall adds that the board will have to be, "creative in whatever cuts they need to make." He is also confident the economy will bounce back to make up the revenue shortfall.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.