Harlem School District approves 2014 budget - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Harlem School District approves 2014 budget


Cuts are on the line in one Rockford School District as it goes over its finances.

Harlem School District 122 is in the red. It's been there for the last four years.

While the district's bank account is in slightly better shape this time around, leaders are once again faced with the task of deciding what programs can stay, and which ones will need to be cut, simply to make ends meet.

District 122 leaders expect $74 million in revenue to come in from local, state, and federal sources in 2014. But it will cost more than that to run the district, $2 million more.

'While we still have a deficit, we've been working hard to reduce that deficit to get back to the point where we have a balanced budget," says Joshua Aurand, Harlem 122 Assistant Superintendent for Business and Operations

And just like in the past, the district will have to take a critical look at ways to eliminate that amount from it's spending.

"So really what we're going to have to take a look at are cuts for the next school year," says Aurand.

From now, and through the winter months, the school board will look at each program the district provides, and weigh the necessity and affordability of each.

Aurand says, "We continue to review our programs, make sure we're spending fiscally sound and that we have programs that we're keeping in place for the kids so we're not reducing programs that have a dramatic effect on our kids."

The final decision on what, if any programs will need to be cut will be made in the spring.

Aurand says new teacher contracts will not have any major impact on next year's deficit. State cuts and rising in health insurance rates are to blame, as they were in past years.

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