The Springfield District 186 Superintendent has offered up a plan for cutting the budget.
Dr. Walter Milton says the goal of the plan was to reduce the district’s budget deficit without causing too much injury to the overall school system.
Milton says cutting 8 million dollars from next year’s spending will allow the district to reach a balanced budget by 2015.
Nearly 90 cents of every dollar in the education fund is spent on salaries and benefits. The plan calls for cutting nearly 140 jobs, many of them teachers. Elementary school librarians would be eliminated as well as some security personnel.
MILTON “We want to have as minimal impact on the day to day educational processes in our district. That’s why we spent the number of hours, a lot of fact finding, late nights to get to this point.”
Milton also says a conversation is ongoing about closing two elementary schools as a way to save. The plan would raise additional money through higher athletic and driver’s education fees and Milton says trying a referendum to bring in more revenue is also possible.
MILTON “What we have to do is to assure the community that we are still poised, we’re dedicated and we’re going to deliver a good product. We’ve been making cuts for four years, so this is nothing new. About 10-12 years ago, our district was in a position where we had to make 10 million dollars in cuts. Our educational programs survived and we succeeded and I think we are going to get through that now.”
The District 186 School Board will have final say over the budget. Milton says the district’s financial problems are reflective of what is happening in other school systems throughout the country.
Budget plan outlined here