Rock Island/Milan schools make $2 million in cuts

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The Rock Island/Milan School District approved more than $2 million in cuts Tuesday night in order to start the 2013-2014 school year with a balanced budget.

The Board of Education unanimously agreed to a set of reductions known as "Tier 1" cuts. That includes increasing class sizes by one student at all levels, which will result in cutting nine classroom teachers. New textbooks will not be adopted and the completion of some capital improvements will be delayed. Some other staff vacancies, like that of a special education teacher, will not be filled.

The cuts come as the district faces a $4.1 million budget deficit. Leaders say the shortfall is due to severe reductions in state funding.

"We anticipate further diminishment as we move into next year, and so we're making those plans now. We're very hopeful that the state will provide some adequate funding for us this year, and we'll be able to bring some of these reductions back," said Superintendent Dr. Mike Oberhaus.

Tuesday's reductions will save the district $2,026,800. The remaining $2 million needed to balance the budget will be paid for through the district's reserves.