Rock Island/Milan schools face millions in budget cuts

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The Rock Island/Milan School District is facing a $4.1 million budget deficit for the next school year.

In a presentation at its February 12, 2013 meeting, the Board of Education heard details of the district’s financial outlook as well as proposals for cuts that could help compensate for the shortfall.

Two lists of proposed reductions were presented.

Recommended cuts are listed as “Tier 1” and include using grants to fund certain expenses, avoiding adopting new textbooks for the 2013-2014 school year and delaying completion of capital improvements.  District leaders are also recommending savings by not filling certain staff vacancies and increasing class sizes by an average of one student per teacher.

A backup list off additional cuts listed as “Tier II” include reducing athletics funding by ten percent by eliminating cheerleading, tennis, golf and cross-country at all levels.  Duties of the truancy officer, central office secretary and one high school secretary would be reassigned and the staff member assigned to televise Board of Education meetings would be cut.  More textbook and capital improvements reductions are also on the Tier II list.

The district used $2 million from its reserves this year and expects to tap another $2 million from reserves in the 2013-2014 school year.  That will reduce the district’s reserves from $26 million to $22 million.

District leaders will meet again February 26, 2013 and the public is invited to discuss proposed cuts.  A vote is expected on the Tier 1 reductions at that meeting.   You can send in comments or suggestions online – click here.