The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Board of Education is beginning work on the district’s budget for next year.

With certain federal funds expiring, some cuts will need to be made. 

The district received $215 million through the second and third rounds of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds.

In fiscal year 2023, the district spent nearly $50 million in ESSER funding on employee salaries and benefits. But come September of next year, that money is gone. 

At a budget workshop on Tuesday, Superintendent Tricia McManus said that doesn’t necessarily mean people will lose their jobs.

“We're not going to do any kind of, 'We don't need these five positions, see ya,'" McManus said. "That's not gonna happen."

But the district will need to free up dollars elsewhere to pay those employees, and carry out other goals of increasing salaries and expanding extracurriculars. That may mean cuts to programming, and over time, positions.

Some board members said they would like to see the district raise more money as well, and discussed more marketing around renting out district facilities. 

"We're gonna have to have conversations about cutting things and where to allocate resources, but I also want to have conversations about maximizing revenues anywhere we can," said Vice Chair Alex Bohannon. 

The district will need to present a budget to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners by May 1, 2024. 

Amy Diaz covers education for WFDD in partnership with Report For America. You can follow her on Twitter at @amydiaze.

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