By Antonio D. French
Filed Thursday, June 8 at 8:49 AM
A PUB DEF VIDEO REPORT
St. Louis Public Schools' chief financial officer delivered some bad and some worse news to the school board Tuesday night.
Cedric Lewis said that the estimated $2 million deficit in next year's budget is actually closer to $4 million. But Lewis and Superintendent Creg Williams said that the district is facing a real financial crisis in November 2007. At that time, according to Williams, the state's largest school district will be $50 million in the red.
"A lot of employees don't understand that right now, their payroll checks are being tendered by the loan that we borrowed against the Deseg funds," said Lewis.
Williams told the board that at the end of next year SLPS will have what he described as a "cash flow problem."
Board member Ron Jackson asked Williams, considering the looming financial crisis, if it was wise to be giving raises to employees this year and creating new programs which have yet to be funded.
The superintendent said it was his recommendation to continue for now with the present agreements that the district has made with employees.
Williams said the district must be aware of its financial situation in future decision-making and that he and the board should develop a plan of how they will pay their bills 18 months from now.