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D70 cuts $2.1M from budget

Pueblo County District 70 school board on Tuesday night approved a $55.5 million general fund budget for 2014-15 that includes $2.1 million in cuts.

For the first time in several years, the district will not use money from its reserves to balance the budget but will rely on budget cuts.

Among the largest cuts are $500,000 in transportation primarily through a reduction of elementary and middle school routes by increasing walking distance to those schools.

The district contracts transportation services with First Student.

District leaders said the changes are likely to create a hardship for some students but said they are necessary to keep cuts away from the classroom.

Other changes in transportation include the elimination of midday bus routes with the exception of students with special needs.

The budget also includes significant cuts to the central support budget and a reduction of support staff positions.

The staff positions are being reduced through not filling vacant positions, including a few current retirees along with cutting a couple of positions.

The exact number of positions eliminated has not been determined.

Also included as part of the budget was $28 million in the building fund for the continuance of the 2013 bond projects.

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