School districts around the stateline are gearing up for another year of difficult budget cuts. Plans to eliminate jobs and programs in Pecatonica schools are causing some concern.
Mary Clark works part-time at a floral shop in downtown Pecatonica, but she's a full-time mom who's concerned about funding problems at her sons' school district.
"Pec has a good school district and any of [these cut] are going to hurt and we hate to see that happen," says Clark.
Clark's sons Dan and Tom are active in athletics and a state certified agricultural program, both of which are on the chopping block as the district looks to cut more than $500,000.
"They're comments are 'it's going to boring next year'. I think the attitude of most of the students is they're pretty bummed out about it all," says Clark.
The ag program is the only one left in Winnebago County and Clark says it provides students with real life business and leadership skills, but it's not just cuts to extra curricular activities that worry parents. There are plans to modify schedules, increase fees, eliminate a successful reading recovery program, and home ec, agriculture and industrial tech classes.
"Any of those loses are sad. It's just a lack of state funding that's hurting us and these are the results."
Pecatonica Superintendent Mike Parrot was not available for an on camera interview, but says these proposals are the worst-case scenario. He's not expecting extra money from the state anytime soon. High school golf and sixth grade sports could also be cut.
The Pecatonica school board will discuss the budget at its upcoming meeting on Monday January 26. A district task force has ruled out a referendum for this election cycle.