District 204 Budget Problem

The ongoing struggle to close the 8.6 million dollar budget gap continues for school District 204. At the most recent meeting, school board members reviewed the proposed deficit reduction plan, which suggests eliminating a portion of the staff and cutting some student activities.

The main item on the chopping block is middle school soccer. If eliminated, the district could save up to $50,000. Students and parents alike were on hand to protest. Joe Vivo, a District 204 parent, pleaded the board for their understanding. “I’d hate for them to lose that opportunity. I will tell you that we have parents here who are extremely motivated to do whatever we can.”

The reductions are needed to cover the costs generated by administering the new Common Core Curriculum Program. The board sympathized with concerns, but still have to make up the deficit.

“Just because we aren’t having an in-depth conversations about it, doesn’t mean that its not an important thing in that we don’t wish that we could save that just as we could some other things that maybe we could find better solutions for,” said District 204 Board president Curt Bradshaw.

$6.25 million will come from staff cuts, including the layoff of 55 teachers, four administrators, and 55 support staff members. In addition, assistants at the Library Media Center are being asked to reduce their hours from full time to part time.

The next meeting will come on April 2nd, as the school board did not come to any final decisions.

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