As we get ready to carve our Thanksgiving turkeys, Belvidere School District 100 has the less appetizing task of carving out huge chunks of change from it's budget. Since the district's referendum failed, a new high school might mean the end to some old programs.
The school board voted unanimously tonight to approve a plan to move toward raising $2.8 million needed to open Belvidere North High School and then some.
Superintendent Don Schlomann wants to make enough cuts to raise four million dollars. Part of the failed referendum asked for money to build two new elementary schools. Now that that's out of the question, they'll need to add more trailers at existing schools.
The district will not cut from basic education programs -- reading, math, social studies and science. There also will be no cuts that could jeopardize students' safety. Still, Superintendent Schlomann says the cuts will touch every student in the district.
"Clearly it's a democracy and that's one of the things you have to put up with in a democracy, you always don't get your way and so we're going to have to move forward with some cuts. But I think the community needs to understand there are some consequences to their vote," says Dr. Schlomann.
The school board will meet again December 11th at 6:30 PM at Central Middle School to start talking specific cuts. They plan to have a full list of the proposed cuts posted online at the district's website: http://www.district100.net/ by late December.
They will then take input from the community and allow the business services committee to analyze the plans. The board will take it's final vote on the cuts January 9th again at 6:30 back at Central.
Public opinion will be welcome at both meetings. You can start voicing your opinion early by e-mailing the school board at firstname.lastname@example.org.