Mahomet-Seymour School Bd OKs $700K Budget Cut

March 13, 2012

A Mahomet-Seymour school board member said the $700,000 in budget cuts approved Monday night were difficult to make, but unavoidable.

School Board Vice President Vicki Niswander said the reductions for the 2012-2013 school year were made necessary by cuts in state funding --- and the school district will feel the impact.

"You know, as a school district, most of our money goes into personnel," Niswander said. "That means that personnel are going to have to be eliminated. And that's probably going to mean administrators; it's going to be mean teachers. It's going to mean other support that. I have no idea at this point, how we're going to that, but we have to."

The cuts include the elimination of several teaching positions ---- some through attrition. Also, the district is eliminating most of its library assistants. Superintendent Keith Oates said the loss of the library assistants will have a real impact. He said they have done more for their school libraries than just check books in and out.

"There's a lot of reading assistance, book selection, book bags that go home, especially at the elementary level," Oates said. "So, there's a lot that goes on in our libraries, they're very high quality. And a very, very difficult decision to reduce those library assistants out. That will affect the service of our libraries, without a doubt."

The Mahomet-Seymour district will also close down enrichment programs at its two elementary schools, and end its junior high football program ---- although the district notes that they had already lost many participants to a community football program.

Oates saud the state funding cuts forcing them to make budget reductions are hurting schools throughout Illinois. He predicts the Mahomet-Seymour will have to cut up to $800,000 in the following school year as well. But Oates said the district will continue to strive for excellence, even as it resigns itself to making do with less money.

Story source: WILL