Belvidere Budget Cuts Move Ahead

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The school board's business services committee proposed an initial draft tonight on which programs Belvidere students will have to do without.
The committee will wait until next week to vote on whether to put another referendum on the April ballot to make up the shortfall.
They did decide not to move from a seven-period day to a six and not to move 6th graders into elementary schools. Still cuts are aplenty.
There's no sun in the forecast for Belvidere School District 100.
"Cutting whatever it may be, extracurriculars, sports within a community is devastating to the district, I mean all of those things are important to the complete and well-rounded education of a kid and it will effectively gut the education experience," says David Adkins, a Belvidere parent and co-chair of Vision 100.
The school board's business services committee held a working session tonight and came up with 2.9 million dollars in proposed cuts, that's down from an original 4 million.
It looks like all athletics, musicals, marching band and concerts will go. In addition dozens of employees could lose their jobs.
"There is some fear of jobs being lost, but also I think just a fear, really of what our students are going to have to go without," says Belvidere parent and Kishwaukee Elementary School Teacher Angela Bahling.
Superintendent Don Schlomann admits if another referendum doesn't save the day, the cuts will hurt the Belvidere learning environment.
"We suspect if we have to go through and make these cuts we aren't going to be as healthy as we should be and we aren't going to be able to provide the kinds of opportunities we want to for our students," says Dr. Schlomann.
The board established for sure tonight that there is no option but to open Belvidere North High School.
The district expects more growth and simply can't go on with only one high school. But, at least for now, it'll have to go on without many programs.
The final meeting will be next Tuesday, January 9th at 6:30 P.M. at Belvidere Central Middle School.
The board will allow public comment before it takes its makes its final decisions and takes a final vote on the cuts.
If an April referendum were to pass, the board would likely dip into its savings for a year until the referendum money kicks in.
Head to the district's website at district-100 dot com to see a full list of the proposed cuts and learn how to contact the district with any comments.