Belvidere Budget Cut Proposals

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

Tonight Belvidere residents got their first look at their school district's proposed budget cuts. They also had a chance to speak out.
The school board president started the night by saying, "There are no good choices here." Looking at the proposed $4.2 million worth of cuts, it's clear every Belvidere student is losing something.
Parents, teachers and students stepped up to the microphone to lobby the school board to keep their favorite programs.
Athletics and co-curriculars -- things like marching band and musicals --are the hardest hit -- looking at a $1.4 million cut.
Some counselors, nurses, library aides, administrators and teachers could see their jobs disappear.
To some parents the prospect that the high school day could be cut down from seven periods to six is the scariest proposal.
Traci Hartfiel has two kids in the Belvidere school district. She says, "I don't want other classes to be cut where they would be bored in school, less time spent in school, less credits for high school, it's an all-around terrible cut they would have to make throughout the school district."
The cuts will all fund opening and running the new Belvidere North High School; as well as purchasing portable classrooms to the tune of nearly $2 million.
The district will likely put another referendum on the ballot in the spring asking to make up the money. If it fails again the cuts will have to do the job.
The business services committee will look at the cuts January 4th with no public comment.
The final meeting will be at Belvidere Central Middle School January 9th at 6:30 PM. Public comment is allowed then and the board will vote on cuts that night.


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