RPS205 projects $9.3M deficit for upcoming school year

Board members say taxpayers won’t be picking up the bill.
Budget(Gray DC)
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 9:39 AM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The proposed budget for the 2020-2021 school year leaves The Rockford Public School District in the red if it gets approved.

“Revenues are going to lower than what they originally had hoped for and expenses are going to be up because we’ve had some extraordinary expenses,” said RPS205 Board Member Tim Rollins.

Rollins says the increase is due to the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic has created and the way some students will now have to learn.

“We have gone to a hybrid model where some people are remote and some people are in person,” said Rollins. “That’s increased both the staffing needs because we need both remote teachers and in person teachers, but also the technology needs have increased dramatically.”

While the deficit is big Rollins says the burden will not be passed off to taxpayers.

“We’ll use the reserves and we are trying to hold the line on the taxes because we know this pandemic is going to hit the whole community and this is not the time to be raising taxes,” said Rollins.

Board members say at the end of the day they’re happy family’s have options of how they want to approach the school year.

“I would just like to thank the parents for all of their patients with us and all the ups and downs we’ve had all summer and hopefully going forward it will all work out and we’ll get through it and it will be a new normal,” said RPS205 Board Member June Stanford.

The board will vote to approve the budget next Tuesday. Board members also approved September 8th as the first day of school.

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