200 respond to survey about schools’ budget

School District 51 has received nearly 200 responses since it posted a 2012–13 budget survey Wednesday on its website.

The survey will be available online through March 30 at D51schools.org. Results will be reported to the District 51 School Board and may be used to inform budget-cutting decisions.

The district expects to cut $5.1 million to $8.1 million from next school year’s budget because of possible state budget cuts for K–12 education, anticipated decreases in enrollment, which decrease the tax revenue amount distributed to the district by the state, and state-ordered increases in district contributions to school district employee retirement funds.

The questions are mostly the same as those presented at two recent community budget forums except for one, which asks how much a survey-taker would recommend the district charge per month for bus transportation if the district added a transportation fee.

A third and final community forum will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday at Redlands Middle School.

The survey asks students, parents, staff and community members to respond to questions about potential changes to school bus transportation, including whether any busing should be eliminated, whether walking routes should be longer, or if fees should be added for students who ride a school bus.

Questions also address whether people prefer a five- or four-day school week and which day they would have schools take off, Monday or Friday; whether fees should be increased for sports or extra-curricular activities or if funding should be cut for those activities; and if a school or schools should be closed to help balance the 2012–13 budget.

Survey-takers are provided with an area in the survey where they can write other ideas for balancing the budget.

The district will not make paper copies of the online survey available to the public.


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