D51 announces further budget cuts

School District 51 employees were informed via e-mail today of further cuts to the district’s 2011-12 budget.

The cuts include the nearly $5 million in reductions announced earlier this spring, plus further cuts, bringing the total to $13.6 million in budget reductions. Proposed reductions will have to be approved by District 51 school board members, who will discuss next year’s budget at a meeting at 6 tonight at the Basil T. Knight Center.

The proposal includes nearly $2 million in salary and benefit reductions and nearly $5 million in savings that may be gleaned from eliminating positions, including 52 teaching and related positions, a half-time position in building administration, 29 secretarial and non-instruction jobs, seven building instructional support positions, and 36.5 district-level support positions.

The district also plans to reduce substitute teacher pay by 5 percent, reduce days worked by three for contract employees, and reduce the number of contracts in the district that extend beyond the typical amount of contract days.

The e-mail also discusses $2.84 million in program reductions and $3.84 million in operations and administration cuts. Program cuts include the elimination of NWEA testing, a $60,000 reduction in support for community organizations, a summer school funding reduction (this year’s summer school budget has largely been supplanted by grant funding), closure of the Glade Park School and Valley East program, pulled funding for after-school program Club Mid and a high school cosmetology program, reduced intervention funding, and the elimination of 51 reading instructional assistants at the elementary level.

Other cuts include reductions in district support departments, district level instructional support, utility savings and savings in school bus costs because of fewer calendar days in the 2011-12 school year.


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