Byron School District Cuts

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Larger class sizes and less individual attention are likely the results of cuts in the Byron school district. The district will make $3 million in cuts, but that may not be the end of the problems for Byron schools.

"It's not a very pleasant situation," says interim superintendent Carroll Smith.

At least 20 teachers will be cut; 25 teacher's aides and 50 percent of costs for extracurricular activities are also on the chopping block, but that's only the half of it. Those reductions save $1.8 million. There's still at least 1.2 million to go.

"It could come from other personnel and other departments, other support personnel or maybe supplies and materials," adds Smith.

A failed referendum this past November coupled with uncertainty about the assessed valuation of the Byron nuclear power plant leaves no other option, and Smith says the next superintendent will likely be faced with the same unpleasant situation.

"That person will be looking at possibly a second, third or fourth phase of financial adjustments for the Byron district," says Smith.

Why the bleak outlook? Because millions of dollars in tax revenue for the district could soon go up in smoke. The power plant's current valuation of $472 million is set to be reduced in the near future, and Byron's sister plant in Braidwood paints a dim picture. Exelon says it should now be valued at $217 million.

"You can see the millions of dollars Byron schools and other taxing bodies could lose," says Smith.

But Smith argues voters knew all this in November. He says their “no” vote made it clear that they believe these budget cuts must be made.

The district will hold a public meeting in the coming weeks. We'll let you know when and where that meeting will be held when those details become available.