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Neshaminy Looks for Cost-Saving Ideas

Neshaminy School District is looking for creative cost-cutting ideas to close the nearly $12 million budget gap.

While the Neshaminy School District is continuing the line-by-line review of the 2012-2013 preliminary budget that has a nearly $12 million deficit, district officials are asking the public for help.

School district residents are able to e-mail their cost saving ideas to savingsidea@neshaminy.k12.pa.us, district business administrator Barbara Markowitz said at Tuesday's

"We will review every idea," Markowitz said.

District Superintendent Louis Muenker echoed Markowitz stating that all ideas will be taken into consideration and that district officials "value public comment," although they haven't received much to date.

Markowitz announced that the district will be receiving some of the same funding from the state as last year, however one of the grants the district has received in the past was eliminated.

"The state is not being kind to public schools and we once again find that we’re not being funded as well as previous years," Muenker said.

Although the district needed to cut student programs last year to help balance the budget, Muenker said that the district might need to do that again this year. He stated that district officials will be reviewing the district's programs and staffing needs.

"We are going to err on trying to sustain our education programs, but that’s getting more and more difficult," he said.

In addition, Muenker stated that he believes the district needs to think about downsizing.

"It’s still my candid belief that this district needs to get smaller," he said.

"Most of our parents are attached to their neighborhood schools, but if we’re going to sustain out district and sustain our education programs we have to think about downsizing."

Board member Mark Shubin said that consolidating schools would be a good path for the district to explore in order to balance the budget. He also said that are more than 500 empty seats in the district's eight elementary schools.

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