Sherrard grapples with program, budget cuts

Cathy Decker/Staff reporter
Sherrard CUSD# 200 Board of Education president Jay Bizarri points out some of the line item changes being proposed.

The Sherrard Board of Education met Jan. 27, 2010 and went over some tough issues about finances and program cuts at a meeting held in the high school library. There were around 50 people in the audience. The district is holding a public informational meeting on these issues prior to its next board meeting to give the public a chance for input. That meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 2.

District Superintendent Rebecca Rodocker painted a pretty gloomy picture that will require the board to make tough decisions for next year’s budget. The school board will be addressing the budget cuts at its Feb. 17, 2010 meeting.

Rodocker said that if there is a reduction in certified staff, Illinois law requires giving a 60-day notice prior to the last day of school and a 30-day notice for non-certified staff.

Rodocker estimated the board will need to approve a budget that cuts $1.2 million. These cuts will take place through general line-item reductions, attrition of staff, staff reductions and either eliminating or reducining the pre-kindergarten program.

Some of the issues affecting the budget, according to Rodocker include that the Operations and Maintenance fund has not been generating enough revenue to support itself with the tax levy and has had to rely on transfers from other funds. The O & M fund impacts the education fund balance, through some of the transfers, and supports the building’s custodian and maintenance salaries and benefits, maintenance supplies, electric and gas utility costs for all the district buildings.

For more on this story, see the Feb. 3, 2010 issue of The Times Record.