FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4)- With more than a dozen of its schools under capacity, the Broward School Board is looking at the idea of closing them to students and turning the buildings into office space.
By using the sites for staff instead of students, the district would be able to get out of leases, potentially saving millions as the board struggles to slash $140 million from its upcoming budget, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.READ MORE: Haiti's contributions to South Florida in full display at Haitian Heritage Month Art Exhibition
The board asked Tom Lindner, acting deputy superintendent for facilities, for a list of under enrolled schools on Tuesday.
While no specific schools have been targeted, staff has already begun taking inventory of the district’s more than 250 schools.
Dillard Senior High School in Fort Lauderdale has a capacity of 2,738 students, yet only 1,498 enrolled. Sawgrass Springs Middle in Coral Springs has a capacity for 1,097 students, only 451 are enrolled.
Board member Robin Bartleman said closing a school would not be an easy decision, but it is something that the district needs to seriously consider in order to save jobs.READ MORE: What we know about the victims of the Texas school shooting
“We keep delaying the inevitable,’’ she said, adding that nobody wants to make the “tough decisions.”
For months, board members have been combing over the budget looking at ways to cut spending. They’ve already discussed scaling back on athletic programs, asking employees to take furlough days and eliminating jobs.
No specific decisions have been made.
With inflation, federal stimulus money running out and state budget cuts, the district is looking at cutting about $142 million from its 2011-2012 school year budget.
Superintendent Jim Notter said schools are in the process of receiving budgets this week and are making individual decisions on where to make their cuts.MORE NEWS: Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday Starts This Weekend
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