The Jacksonville City Board of Education met on Monday night to discuss the budget for the upcoming school year.
"We're looking at a pretty stable budget for next year," Schools Superintendent Eric Mackey said. "I personally can't complain knowing what is going on in other parts of the state."
Among the items the board discussed was the addition of federal stimulus funds that will go toward, among other things, special education services.
Federal stimulus funds will go to hire a literacy coach for grades 4 through 6, a preschool special education teacher and a writing resources for kindergarten through grade 3.
Mackey said the preschool special education teacher would work mostly with autistic students.
"That's an area we've been wanting to provide more services," Mackey said. "We have three more autistic kids this summer. That'll be a great benefit for us to help those kids stay ahead."
Mackey said the literacy coach would work with other teachers in a coaching model.
"(The literacy coach) will be working with students to build reading and literacy skills," Mackey said. "It's not just a reading coach, we're including all the components of literacy."
The board also discussed the funds that could be coming into the system from the one-cent sales tax.
"It's going to bring in, we think $900,000, which is a big deal," Mackey said. "Together, (the stimulus and the one-cent sales tax) made our pie a little bit larger this year."
Mackey said without the funds from the sales tax, the outlook for next year would be a bit more bleak. "We would have had to cut 12 staff members," Mackey said. "I'm glad it's not my problem because I don't know how we would have made those cuts and had school every day. We would have had to look at some tough things like cutting bus service."
The state did cut funds for a few things though. Last year, the state gave Jacksonville schools more than $27,000 for technology.
This year, that number is zero.
The state also cut funding for instructional support.
Mackey said the school system will have to make cut backs in some areas, but the cuts shouldn't be noticeable.
"Our goal is that parents and kids will notice as little as possible," Mackey said. "That's a double edged sword because what'll happen is we'll be cutting in other areas. We'll be doing less day to day maintenance of things."
Board member Kelley Haynes said she was impressed with how the school system was doing more with less.
"We haven't cut any instructors or major staff," Haynes said. "The students are going to see the teachers they're used to seeing. The curriculum is the same."
Mackey said that the only thing parents will notice is an increase in requests for donations.
"Parents will see that we will probably be asking for donations of things to the classroom," Mackey said. "That'll be an area where parents are going to have to help."