School districts struggle with budgets

District leaders in Rock Island meet Tuesday to discuss budget cuts in the amount of $2.7 million.

Included in the cuts are custodian and librarian positions and increasing classroom sizes.

On Monday night, Moline schools had to cut more than 70 teachers- a sign cuts to education aren’t going away anytime soon.

School districts in Iowa and Illinois continue to strip away at their already bare-bones budgets.

“Anything in the public sector right now, their budgets are tight and that’s where you see the job eliminations,” said Linda Schneider, with the Iowa State Education Association. “It’s a challenge for them.”

Schneider says the Moline School District’s decision Monday night to eliminate 74 teaching positions cuts to the heart of the struggle education’s faced with in today’s economic climate.

“There are no easy decisions when you’re talking about cutting budgets and it all comes back to what kind of support they get from the state,” said Schneider.

According to the most recent data from the National Education Association, per pupil expenditures increased during the 2010-11 school year to $10,826.

That’s up from $10,586 the previous year.

But, states still provide the largest share of financial support for schools and while Illinois spends more than the national average per pupil, Iowa’s on the lower end of the spectrum spending a little more than $9,000 per pupil.

“Reporter asks: How hard is it to avoid cutting into the classroom? Linda: That’s where the majority of any business or school district’s funding, where they spend their money, it’s in personnel. So, it’s very difficult.”

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