Below are highlights* from the most recent meeting of the District 39 Board of Education. Click here for the information packet from the meeting where you can find complete content of the reports and information summarized below.
Administrative announcements from Dr. Ray Lechner:
- Dr. Lechner acknowledged six District 39 teachers who have achieved National Board Certification: Jodi Macauley, Carolyn Neill, Alison Gavin, Emily Kalway, Catherine Linehan, and Laura Rinkenberger
- Dr. Lechner presented an updated Program Costing Document highlighting the changes since last month. Program cuts are now organized based on whether or not additional revenue is received.
- Dr. Clauson discussed the possible K-8 programming changes for 2011-2012 and school principals provided feedback about what program cuts will mean to students.
- Dr Lechner presented “Solving the Budget Shortfall” to provide details about the District’s financial position and the need for additional revenue.
- District 39 has a long history of educational excellence and efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
- The current budget shortfall is the result of a number of factors: state budget problems, no provision in the tax cap for enrollment increases – but almost 10% more students in the District, and a nearly zero CPI, which has limited property tax revenues.
- It has been almost 13 years since the District asked the voters for a tax increase.
- Budget cuts of $4.3 million have already been implemented, leaving a $3.7 million deficit for 2011-2012.
- District ranks last in the township in both teacher salaries and pupil-teacher ratios.
- To resolve the deficit, an additional $6.375 million in cuts would be needed over two years and would include approximately 80 of 328 certified teaching positions as well as elimination of the following programs: reading intervention, all foreign language, gifted support, and instrumental music.
- The funds requested in the referendum would allow the District to avoid these staffing and programmatic cuts.
Other information items
- Denise Thrasher provided a report on the 2011 child count for special education.
- The Board approved a resolution establishing a minimum fund balance goal of 30% or the operating fund budget.
- The Board voted to place a referendum on the April 5th ballot asking voters for a tax rate increase. The District is seeking an additional $6.375 million, which translates to an increase of $58.80 per $1000 of taxes paid.
- The Board approved the school calendar for 2011-2012 (33 kB PDF).
- The Board adopted a resolution establishing the 2012 fiscal year and budget calendar.
- The Board adopted a statement of intent as to the amount to be levied for the 2010 levy year in the event the referendum passes.
- The Board approved bids for life safety work for 2011.
The Board received the December cash flow report and January financials.
* These highlights provide a summary of the board meeting and are not formal minutes from the meeting. Once approved, minutes from the meeting will be posted in the Minutes section.