The Dist. 87 school board has reviewed the proposed deficit reduction plan twice. The board will vote on the plan third time it comes up, Feb. 27. (B. Corbin/WJBC)
By Stephanie Pawlowski
BLOOMINGTON - District 87 Superintendent Barry Reilly said he's gotten some feedback on the proposed deficit reduction plan, mostly from teachers that would be affected by budget cuts.
The district is facing a $2.7 million budget shortfall this fiscal year and the school board will vote on the proposed plan on Feb. 27.
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.
Reilly said the complicating factor this year is the update in the teacher evaluation system.
"Because it takes into account the evaluations, experience, certifications, whereas in the past it was solely based on your certification and seniority," Reilly said.
The evaluations now have a larger effect on the reduction plan, Reilly said because someone with a lot of experience but a low evaluation could end up on a reduction in force list this spring. That's the annual list of teacher cuts.
"Mainly you'll have your tenured teachers that are doing really well still in that safe boat, but the evaluations do come into play," Reilly said.
Teacher evaluations are wrapping up. Reilly said they are due by March 1 and the RIF list will come up for a vote at the district's March 13 meeting.
Reilly told the school board Wednesday night that he is also hearing from state leaders that the state will be paying less money to school districts next year. He said the state prorates school funding at 89 percent, and he's hearing that will likely be cut to 80 percent. Schools in Illinois are supposed to get $6,119 per student.