NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State officials are looking for ways to defray spiking projections for school construction costs amid fears of a tight budget year.
The Department of Education's budget request includes an 18 percent increase in school construction costs next year, after several years where growth was in the single digits.
Under the state's school funding formula, this jump would cost the state more than $50 million.
Finance Commissioner Dave Goetz (gets) told budget hearings that this one figure stands out in a year when every dollar is going to count to meet the existing funding needs.
The state has missed tax projections by nearly $136 million in the budget year that began in July. And officials are uncertain about the level of revenue collections through the rest of the year.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)