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Schools keep looking for budget cuts

Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board members get another update tonight on efforts to close what may be a $5 million budget gap if the state goes through with threatened cuts to school funding.

Evanston/Skokie District 65 school board members get another update tonight on efforts to close what may be a $5 million budget gap if the state goes through with threatened cuts to school funding.

The threatened state cuts amount to a 5 percent missing piece from what would otherwise be a roughly $100 million District 65 budget pie.

The district’s chief financial officer, Mary Brown, in a memo to board members, says the staff has identified nearly $500,000 in additional potential budget cuts during the past week, on top of $5.1 million in potential cuts previously identified.

Because the district’s budget for the current school year increased 8 percent over actual spending last year, the budget for the upcoming school year — even if the cuts are carried out, would call for less than $1 million in total spending reductions compared to this year.

But because of increased pay for teachers and increased costs for health insurance and other benefits, the budget calls for laying off a number of teachers and making other spending cuts to bring spending in line with revenues.

Brown says the newest proposed savings included $365,000 in staff reductions and $115,200 in projected savings as a result of early retirment incentives.

The state still hasn’t adopted a budget for its coming fiscal year, leaving school districts uncertain about just how big a gap they’ll be left to fill.

The board will get a draft budget next month and a tentative budget in August and is scheduled to finally adopt a budget for the upcoming school year in September.

Related link

Information packet for tonight’s school board meeting

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