As a result of the failed November referendum, even more cuts just became reality for District 86 at the March 18, 2019 board meeting.
The list of teachers and support personnel honorably dismissed totals 24 people and another four to be reduced from full to part time. While lower enrollment accounts for some reduction in staff, much stems from the failed November referendum which prompted the decision to move to the strict 25:1 model for scheduling.
In the absence of a successful referendum, facility repairs and replacement needs come out of the regular operating budget. To accomplish this, the Board approved “targeted reductions to increase spending on facilities” on December 17, 2018:
“Approve targeted reductions including:
Administration Pay Freeze – $75,254
Support Staff Pay Freeze – $68,844
Transportation Cost Cuts – $337,294
Class Size Increase – $1,059,885
Division Head Structure –
Co-Curricular – Athletics – $789,047
Co-Curricular – Activities – $405,293
Admin Staff Reduction – $586,959
ESP Staff Reduction – $230,334
Music Tutors – 600 Hour – $130,169
Motion by Kevin Camden, second by Bo Blackburn.
Final Resolution: Motion Carried
Aye: Bill Carpenter, Kevin Camden, Bo Blackburn, Keith Chval, Jennifer Planson, Nancy Pollak
Nay: Kathleen Hirsman”
If the April referendum does not pass, these will not be the last cuts to future annual budgets. According to board members at the March 18 meeting, with the way school funding works, it is common to need a referendum (averaging about every 17 years) to maintain schools. Yet, the last time one has passed in District 86 was in 1962.
It’s time. The first step to preserving excellence is to do what surrounding communities have done and pass the April 2nd referendum.
Our students deserve it.