Brevard County students head back to school



BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Brevard County students headed back to class Wednesday, and many will have to find their way around different schools because of district budget cuts.

With the closures of Clear Lake Middle School, along with South Lake and Gardendale Elementary schools, roughly 2,000 Brevard County students are attending new schools.

Mims and Oak Park Elementary are among the schools seeing the largest number of new students.

"It's just getting my kids situated in yet another school when they were doing so well where they had friends. And, everybody is all dispersed now all across the community," said parent Christine McClure.

Some busing services were also eliminated as part of the $25 million in cuts made to save the district money this coming school year.

"That includes over 400 positions in our budget, it has been challenging.  But, we've met that challenge and we're ready to move forward," said Brevard County Superintendent Brian Binggeli.

Binggeli said the cuts were not as steep as originally thought.

"We were able to recover our media assistants in all of our schools. We were able to recover a lot of our annual contract teachers," said Binggeli. "Despite all our challenges we still offer phenomenal opportunities to our students in international curriculum, advanced placement, international baccalaureate, Cambridge."

As a result of the cuts some teaching positions had to be eliminated.

The district did not see a significant drop in enrollment -- something many expected as NASA families moved away as the shuttle program ended

The district also saw significant savings by reducing energy expenses and health care costs.

"We think we've made tough decisions. Now to try to move forward in the future," said Binggeli.