Kaneland finalizes budget reduction
In the “Kaneland finalizes budget reduction” story on page 1A of the Thursday, March 17 edition, a paraphrased statement by Kaneland School Board President Cheryl Krauspe was published as, “The budget reduction work was challenging, but cooperative and simple.” The statement should have read, “The budget reduction work was challenging, but cooperative and sensible.”
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Ryan Wells, Editor
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by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—After nearly three months of financial projections, targeted cost centers and budget analysis, the Kaneland School District on Monday presented the School Board with its finalized cost reduction plan for the 2012 fiscal school year.
The reduction plan, which the School Board approved with a unanimous vote of 7-0, will cut $1,005,477 in district expenditures at the elementary, middle school, high school and district level. Despite the financial belt tightening, Superintendent Jeff Schuler said no school employees were lost as a result of the budget cuts, because all eliminated positions were offset by district retirements.
Schuler had repeatedly stated at School Board meetings since early January that the district’s main goal was to cut expenditures while trying to minimize the impact of reductions on student programs.
“I think that, for the most part, we were successful in that goal, although any reduction in staff, supply or purchased service is going to have some impact on our education services for students,” he said. “If it did not (have an impact), then we should not have been spending that money to begin with. I believe that Kaneland has been responsible and strategic in the use of our resources, so any cost reductions are going to be challenging.”
One of the cost reduction plan’s more difficult cuts is the elimination of two LRC director positions at the elementary level, which will leave the two remaining LRC director positions to each oversee two of the district’s four elementary buildings. These particular cuts were discussed by the School Board at its meeting on Feb. 28.
Board President Cheryl Krauspe said the budget reduction work was challenging, but cooperative and sensible.
“(It’s) hard to think positive when you think budget cuts, but we’ve got a vision that recognizes some harsh realities,” she said. “We are not in the practice of hand wringing and feeling sorry for ourselves; there is not enough time for that. We need to invest all of the resources that we have in the best possible way, and that’s moving forward.”
According to a memorandum presented by Schuler, the cost reduction plan will reduce $200,845 at the elementary level, $128,149 at the middle school level, $181,842 at the high school level, and $494,641 at the district level.
There is, however, one positive aspect that Schuler was able to take from the grueling cost reduction process.
“If there is a silver lining in the cost reductions, it is the fact that the district staff and administration have been very creative in our ability to accomplish more with less,” he said. “We have sought new ways to allocate resources-especially in operational areas-that have allowed us to maintain our focus on teaching and learning. We have not just maintained during this financial crisis, we have continued to innovate and improve.”
Despite the financial belt tightening, Superintendent Jeff Schuler said no school employees were lost as a result of the budget cuts, because all eliminated positions were offset by district retirements.