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|Proposed Budget Savings Presented at District 205 Board Meeting; Officials Rip State for Millions Still Owed
|UPDATED 1:02 p-m 2/9/10 The Galesburg School District is still waiting for more than $2-million in payments from the state, and officials say that's the reason big changes are being proposed to the new fiscal year budget.
District 205 Assistant Superintendent for Finance and Operations Guy Cahill went over what he called a mix of revenue enhancements and expenditure reductions at Monday night's school board meeting to offset around $2.5 million owed to the district by the state. He says all told, the school district must adjust its Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget by $2.6 million.
Cahill says the plan, which includes suggestions from the district's staff, is all about saving jobs. There are many parts to the whole proposal, which is available on the District 205 website www.galesburg205.org. Cahill says one recommendation is to shorten the school week in January and February.
"We're suggesting getting school earlier, having finals before Christmas, not returning to school until the day after Martin Luther King's birthday (and) going four days a week until the end of February during the cold months."
Cahill says he knows four days of instructional time will be lost before ISAT testing, but the state could also move when the test is given. He also presented the board what he referred to as a mix to make up money owed to the district by the state that includes increased taxpayer contributions, increased fees, staff realignment and salary sacrifices, and what's described as changes in the operating culture of the district totaling more than $1.2 million.
Board members Dr. Barry Swanson and Dr. Carl Strauch and superintendent Dr. Gene Denisar all said the problem is the state's lack of funding. Denisar has expressed his frustration with the state in the past, and he did so again Monday night.
"It's like when you don't get a paycheck, can you pay your bills? And they're (lawmakers) sitting around twiddling their thumbs doing nothing," Denisar said. "It's time for them to get busy and do something."
Cahill says doing something would be telling the district, for example, it's going to get 10 percent less, but waiting until June or July doesn't help anybody. He's projecting a budget deficit for the next three years without any state or local intervention.
The marquee at Nielson School displays the amount of money the State of Illinois owes Galesburg District 205 and the unpaid money's effect on jobs in the district.
(WGIL News Story and Photo by Mike Perry)
|02 09 10 by Newsroom
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