Moline school budget cuts debate underway

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"If the [Moline School] District doesn't make cuts... it will go broke."

That's the message from Dr. David Moyer, the Superintendent of the Moline School District, as he battles to balance the budget.

On Tuesday, February 12, 2013, the Moline School Board hosted a public meeting at the Moline Public Library. It was "standing room only" as more than 100 teachers, parents, and community members came together to give their input and ideas.

To get a sense of everyone's priorities, Dr. Moyer turned the public forum into a public discussion by asking everyone to talk in small groups and post their ideas on two posters - one for what they want to keep and another for what they want to change. Some of the suggestions include having parents pay for transportation, raising activity fees, and offering early retirement.

"If that's what has to be done, that's what has to be done," said President of the Moline PTA Council, Linda Dany, during an interview with WQAD on Tuesday night.

The Moline PTA Council oversees all the PTAs in the Moline School District. As both a parent and a taxpayer, Linda says she is torn about what the Board should do.

"I understand that people don't want to lose their sports programs, they don't want to lose their music programs, they don't want to lose anything. You don't, but we have a budget deficit and we've had it for a while and it needs to be addressed," says Dany.

The Moline School District faces a $3.8 million deficit for the 2013-14 school year. Dr. Moyer says it's a revenue issue and there's too many unknowns on the local, state, and federal level.

"The state board asked for more funding, that's not going to happen," Dr. Moyer told WQAD on Tuesday. "Sequestration is put off for now, but we don't know what's going to happen at the federal level. And something's going to happen with pensions and we don't know what that is."

Dr. Moyer says he will continue to collect input from the community before he makes his recommendations to the Board in the Spring. To find out how you can send in your comments and questions, click here.