The Boone County (W. Va.) school board approved a balanced budget at the eleventh hour Monday to stave off a take over by the West Virginia State Board of Education.
WSAZ-TV reports that the Boone County board slashed employee pay by an average of $4,000 a year to close the deficit.
Boone County needed to act by the end of the day Monday; the state board voted last week to take over management of the district if it failed to approve a balanced budget.
Boone County Superintendent Jeffrey Huffman said the school system is in a financial crisis and has not paid $1.6 million of its bills. The water company and county food service providers have threatened to cut services to the schools, the told the school board.
The school system lost $9 million in severance taxes last year because of losses in the struggling coal industry.
Eliminating jobs was not part of Huffman's recommended cuts, but last week the state board said there was 48 more teachers than recommended for the county. School board members say job cuts could be possible in the future.
After Boone County's action, the state board said it deemed the budget "accurate and fiscally sufficient."
"The budget approved today upholds Boone County Board’s responsibility to ensure a full instructional term for students and ensures sufficient funds to pay employees for the entire school year," says State Board President Mike Green.
Video from WSAZ-TV: