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School Closure on School Board Agenda

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 309

205logobwAt least one school closure, and a number of other reductions, could be made as a result of anticipated action tonight by the Galesburg School Board.The District-205 Board tonight is to vote on whether or not to close Cooke Elementary School, as part of district methods to eliminate a budget deficit in the 2015 fiscal year that could come close to $5 million.

The District board discussed closing both Cooke Elementary School and Galesburg High School North as part of cost containment measure, but only Cooke is on the agenda specifically for tonight.

Superintendent Bart Arthur told the WGIL Morning News last month no one likes making such decisions, but they’re being done in the best interest of kids.

“The cost per pupil gets very expensive when you only have 106 kids.  But the more important reason — and this the thing that a lot of people don’t understand — we’re not in compliance with [the state's] special ed law. They require that you have 70 regular ed [education] kids to 30 special ed [education] kids in any class.  We’re violating that in three out of four or five classes in that school.”

The District-205 board tonight is also to consider making another $1.8 million in spending cuts in areas like supplies and other needs.

Also on the agenda is a proposal to establish a $5 million line of credit, loaning $2 million to the district’s bond and interest fund from the working cash fund, and abating some property tax money to pay off other debt.

The Galesburg School Board meets at seven o’clock tonight at Lincoln School.