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Hazelwood School District clarifies plans to cut $6.6 million from budget

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Rumors have been swirling this week in the Hazelwood School District concerning $6.6 million dollars in budget cuts. Officials moved to quash rumors and set things straight.

After word got out about the cuts the district was flooded by calls, there was a lot of misunderstanding. Friday the district tried to set the record straight.

"We`ve done the very best we can to make sure that these budget reduction impact our students the least." said Kimberly Mckenzie.

Cutting music had people seeing red. Four orchestra and band position are still being eliminated but in only elementary schools. Middle schools and high schools will still have band and orchestra.

Physical Education is being reduced, but it will still exist, and is expected to meet state guidelines. Kids will have it every four days instead of twice a week.

Some parents who showed up for the news conference were still not happy about that.

"It`s sad I know they`re have to be cuts, the p.e. thing gets to me because our kids are tested so much they need the physical activity they need to get out of the classroom." said PTA President Debbie Meine.

The other big rumor floating around that officials want to straighten out is that the cuts begin immediately. They do not.

"People thought these were being implement immediately and they`re not, it`s July first." said Assistant Superintendent of Finance Dwight Lindhorst.

They still need to make $6 million in cuts in future years. That could include benefit changes for employees, and future possible school closings.

" A year ago they were talking about giving raises to teachers if we knew we were in dire straits, if we knew we were in a serious problem why are they giving raises to teachers?" said Tony Weaver.

Officials say if teachers don`t get raises they`ll go somewhere else. THere are many more specifics about all the cuts. Parents can learn more at a meeting Tuesday night.

Don`t think your comments will change things now. It`s already be decided and approved by the school board.
The cuts are need because property values are declining.