North Boone wants your opinion on school cuts - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

North Boone wants your opinion on school cuts

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POPLAR GROVE (WREX) -

North Boone School District needs more than a million dollars. That's how big the gap is between money coming in and money going out. Everything is on the table when it comes to making up the revenue and administrators want advice on what to do.

From teacher cuts, school closings to even a tax referendum, the school district wants to hear from the community on what changes should be made to fix the budget.

"We try to gather input in a variety of ways from people in order to see what kind of cuts the community is supportive of," says Dr. Steve Baule, superintendent of District 200.

That's why the school district just released an online survey. North Boone Schools says between decreasing property values and the state government paying less than it's supposed to District 200 anticipates a $1.125 million deficit. One way the survey suggests fixing that is by moving to grade level centers.  All pre-k to 3rd graders would go to Poplar Grove and 4th to 6th graders to North Boone Upper Elementary. Capron and Manchester schools would close.

"There's always a group of people in the last three years who have said why don't you simply close Manchester for instance. This is an attempt to gather information about what does the community at large feel about that as opposed to just a vocal group that comes to a school board," says Dr. Baule.

The superintendent says a majority of the missing money, almost a million dollars is funds the state is suppose to pay. Dr. Baule says if the government comes through these will not even be problems. But last year the state only paid 89-percent of its bill and this year he expect only about 70-percent of the funds. Dr. Baule says there are reserves which the district could dip into but that would mean operating on a deficit budget.

"Because if it's ok to spend the reserves and not have a balanced budget for instance then we could potentially put this off for a couple of years, any of these conversations. But if the community wants us to have a balanced budget and live within our means then we have to make cuts," says Dr. Baule.

The survey in available online at North Boone school's website at www.nbcusd.org. The deadline for filling out the survey is next week, February 15th. The results are expected to be presented to the school board February 21st.

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