Bethlehem school district freezes spending

The Bethlehem Board of Education agreed with Tebbano's action and said that taking financial precautions was necessary.

"We support Dr. Tebbano's decision to take this difficult but important step," said Board President James Lytle. "Although the board fully expects that the governor and the legislature will keep their promises to our students and to our taxpayers and will not consider any mid-year reductions in the state's commitment to our schools, the freeze is a prudent decision that will place the district in the best position to address whatever fiscal challenges lie ahead."

The restriction that will be the most apparent to students and families is the cancellation of a number of field trips, according to district officials.

There are certain exceptions to this restriction: Nature's classroom, grant-funded trips such as Elementary Children's Theater, athletics; select Lab School field trips; and previously scheduled and paid for trips will be held as planned at this time.

The current economic climate combined with the fiscal uncertainties at the state and federal levels mean the district must be extra cautious, Tebbano said.

"We don't want to jeopardize our core academic program because we failed to be proactive right now," he said. "It is the first phase of complete budget freeze " but we're OK. I don't want people to think the sky is falling."

Tebanno said other area schools have begun to, or are planning to, take similar measures.

The district said it will continue to closely monitor the economic climate and its budget implications, particularly at the state level " an approach Tebbano called a "wait and see" process.

In the memo to staff, Tebbano wrote that further spending restrictions may be necessary. ""

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