Proposed reductions at Bloomington High School next year include French foreign language, PE, guidance, chorus, the elimination of the Pep Club, cutting an administrative aide and a reduction to the football program. (Ryan Denham/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - The District 87 school board Wednesday night will see a list of proposed reductions for the first time as district officials work to cut a $2.7 million budget deficit over two years.
Two programs slated for elimination include the Bloomington High School Pep Club and BJHS pom pons. Superintendent Barry Reilly said classes and programs at each of the schools will be reduced.
"When you look at all of our reductions, assuming things will get better one day, which certainly I hope they do, the process for bringing things back will be similar to the process for reducing," Reilly said.
The school board in October approved guiding principles to cut spending, which included reducing programs before cutting, using grants and other funds on teachers first and making cuts equal across the district.
Proposed BHS reductions total $500,000 in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years and include:
Reilly said the French, PE and chorus reductions would mean larger classes.
"We can have multiple levels within the same classroom," Reilly said.
The football reduction would mean the loss of an assistant coach. Reilly said there are no specific cuts outlined in the second year, but expects other extracurricular teaching stipends could be cut.
Proposed BJHS reductions total $400,000 in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years and include:
Reilly said three teachers would be removed from band and chorus and those programs would be reorganized with the remaining staff.
"Rather than eliminate something like a 5th grade band program, we really don't want to do that, so we felt this reduction was fair," Reilly said.
Proposed elementary school reductions total $350,000 in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years and include:
Proposed district-wide reductions total $795,000 in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years and include:
In June, the board approved a $50,000 contribution to Project Oz to help supplement the loss of state dollars for a youth counselor in the school.
"I'm hopeful that there could be a bridge during the time that we're struggling where we could continue those services at least to some degree without eliminating those, but that's yet to be determined," Reilly said.
Reduction in expenses totals $2,045,000. At the Jan. 9 board meeting, Reilly presented a plan for $490,000 in added revenues. So far $550,000 in expenses has been cut this fiscal year.
Reilly said the district doesn't have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem with lower property values, less money from non-property tax revenues, less state and federal revenue and the loss of $800,000 over the last year when a map of Bloomington used to calculate poverty was fixed and the lines were moved.