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|Abingdon School Board Approves Cuts In Response to Loss of State Funding
|The Abingdon School Board is letting dozens of staff members go, some of them certified, and cutting programs as a way to make up for an anticipated loss of more than a half-million dollars in state revenue.
The board Wednesday night approved the dismissal of eight certified and 23 non-certified staff members as part of a budget reduction plan presented by Abingdon schools superintendent Dr. Tami Roskamp.
Roskamp says the district expects to take a hit of nearly $671,000 in lost state revenue.
"The governor has proposed cutting $1,5 billion out of the K-12 funding," Roskamp said. "This is a 17 percent cut and decrease in the education fund than is higher than we expected. As of Monday (March 8), Abingdon (District 217) had not received $294,057 in payments for transportation, special ed and other general state aid payments from the state of Illinois."
Besides the 31 staff members who were honorably discharged, there are several other cuts that Roskamp says will result in a total estimated savings of more than $571,000. Money from the district's reserves will be used to make up the difference in lost revenue.
The board-approved cuts include not filling positions through attrition, eliminating the Reading Recovery program, restructuring sections in grades three through eight, not offering middle school and elementary band and eliminating freshman boys and girls basketball.
Board member Roger Schrodt said he wants to gather suggestions from the community and teachers on other cost savings ideas through an online survey and a public meeting. The board also discussed the possibility of pursuing a one-cent sales tax and asked Roskamp to bring more information to the next meeting. Board member Dennis Decrane said he would personally work hard to keep as many people - meaning staff members - as the district can.
Roskamp says if the district's financial picture improves, many of the employees let go could be recalled. One way that could happen is by the state legislature approving a one-percent increase in the state income tax recommendation by the governor in his budget address that would go toward education.
District 217 Board members, staff from Abingdon schools and the public gather Wednesday night in the Hedding Grade School gymnasium to discuss the budget reduction plan presented by Superintendent Dr. Tami Roskamp. The board approved the plan that will save the school district an estimated $571,274.
(WGIL News Story and Photo by Mike Perry)
|03 11 10 by Newsroom
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