Reductions in expenses totals $2,045,000. At the Jan. 9 board meeting, Superintendent Barry Reilly presented a plan for $490,000 in added revenues. So far $550,000 in expenses has been cut this fiscal year. (B. Corbin/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - The deficit reduction plan is now in place in District 87.
The school board adopted the budget cutting measure Wednesday night after three reviews. A $2.7 million budget deficit will be tackled over two years with added revenues and cutting expenses. Superintendent Barry Reilly said some teachers will be laid off and class sizes will get larger.
"Behind the scenes we've been planning for that, making the assumption that the board would approve it, however there was always a chance they would ask us to change something," Reilly said. "They didn't, so we'll move forward with those plans."
The plans include Bloomington High School reductions of $500,000 in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years. That will mean larger French, PE and chorus classes.
There will be Bloomington Junior High School reductions of $400,000 in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years with larger French and PE classes and reductions in band and chorus.
Elementary school reductions will total $350,000 in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years and other district reductions of $795,000 will be made in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 school years which will mean the loss of a Project Oz counselor and reductions in technology.
Reilly said he thinks there might be a dozen layoffs, but he'll have a better idea once teacher evaluations are in Friday. The state requires those are taken into account with certifications and seniority.
"We don't know exactly who those names are going to be. In some cases we do and we've had communication with those individuals who will be affected, in other cases we have yet to have that," Reilly said. "We'll certainly have that before the board is presented with that list of reductions."
The reduction list is scheduled to come before the board March 13.
The district isn't only making reductions. At the Jan. 9 board meeting, Reilly presented a plan for $490,000 in added revenues. And, he said reserves are also being drawn down.
Summer school 2013
Summer school this year is also being affected. The number of sections in the general education classes is being reduced and the BJHS tuition is going up from $150 per credit hour to $200.
Administrator City Helmers said class sizes will increase and she'll be looking for scholarship opportunities.
Reilly said in the past few years, the 100 Black Men of Central Illinois and Bloomington-Normal NAACP have provided scholarships and he's hoping those organizations will be able to help this year, too.
"Both of them have been great partners to work with in regards to providing those tuition reimbursements. They have a passion for that. They specifically want to help low income students and those are the things that I fully expect they'll want to help us out with again," Reilly said.
A grant from the United Way of McLean County and funding from State Farm are also helping offset the costs. Reilly said he expects summer school classes to grow by two to five students this year.
Bloomington High School Speech and Drama director Susan Cortesi said students are also planning for the school's annual spring musical "Guys and Dolls." Performances are scheduled for March 7-9.