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Taylorville School Board Views Proposed Changes Designed to Help Trim Budget

The Taylorville School Board, during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday night, heard a detailed report from Superintendent Fuerstenau on the changes that may be necessary to bring the 2015-2016 school year budget into a semblance of balance. Dr. Fuerstenau cited the perfect storm of prorated general state aid being funded at 2010 levels and prorated at 89%, as well as declining enrollment and the uncertainty of catagorical payments as contributing factors in the future financial shortcomings of the district. To put the problem in a nutshell, state aid is going to continue to decrease and expenditures increase to a level in which the district will see it's savings cushion depleted and the district will be operating in the red.

It was proposed by Dr. Fuerstenau that restructuring would alleviate approximately $515,000 in the FY2016 budget. The restructuring would come in the form of restructuring grades K-2 from 8 sections to 7, restructuring the Junior High and High School schedules to an 8 period day and restructuring district support personnel. With the proposed restructuring, the district would see 5 certified staff positions reduced, 3 positions not filled and support staff positions reduced to equal a savings of $514,557. It was agreed that, unfortunately, it was not possible to cut programs or supplies and still provide the quality of education that is expected in the Taylorville School District. Dr. Fuerstenau noted that even should the District see an unexpected increase in State Aid Funds, these changes are needed with larger deficits looming in FY 2017. The proposed changes will be voted on during the regular board meeting in March.

In other business, the board approved a resolution providing for the issue of $800,000 in school bonds for the safety improvement to the schools including a new roof and weatherproofing for Memorial grade school along with replacing windows at Taylorville Junior High. The board also accepted the resignation of Maureen Appleton, Junior High, Jon Bagby, Spanish at THS and Roy Roberts, English at THS. Request for leave of absence was granted to Lori Oyler and Tracy McCallister and the board agreed to hire Julie Lilly as Library Aide at the High School. The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.

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