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More Cuts Than Closing Cooke On the Way

WGIL Newsroom . Local News 319

boardpicClosing Cooke Elementary was only part of a plan to cut costs in the Galesburg School District.

This week’s Board of Education meeting also brought with it $900-thousand in additional cuts. Those cuts will be affecting some of the learning opportunities available to students.

Just like closing Cooke Elementary, the cost containment plan was discussed in closed door session during a January Committee of the Whole meeting.

Cuts to supplies and materials, certain budget contingencies, and a 10-percent cut to the field trip budget were also included in the list.

Superintendent Bart Arthur says since the 2002/03 school year, the District has been working on it’s revenue issues.

“Every year since then, there have been drastic cuts made to the point that, in 2009, more than 16-million dollars was expended in our district,” says Arthur. “This year, the budgeted amount is 14-million that 2-million less in four years, now if you combine that, that’s 8-million dollars.”

Three certified staff members at Churchill Junior High School, each of the elementary schools would lose one instructional aide position, and professional development opportunities would also receive cuts.

The cost cutting plan hopes to balance the District’s budget in about five years time. Raising revenue is also part of the plan and includes raising the price tag on certain fees such as elementary school registration.