Tri States Public Radio Staff
Thu January 14, 2010
Monmouth Roseville Addresses Budget Problems
Monmouth, IL – The Monmouth-Roseville School District, like many districts in the region, is facing budget problems. While a reduction in state funding is part of the problem, there are many other problems the district must contend with.
Superintendent Paul Woehlke says the district has been deficit spending since its inception in 2005. Monmouth and Roseville both went into the consolidation with budgets in the red. Woehlke says money from the state's "consolidation incentive" helped mask the problem.
Under the worst case scenario, Monmouth-Roseville's deficit could reach $1.5 million during the 2010-2011 school year.
That's why a 15 member budget deficit reduction committee, composed of community members, parents and teachers, has been formed to tackle the problem. It will review various options to save money. Among the possibilities include cutting academic programs, athletic programs, closing a school, and, in the most extreme case, dissolving the district.
Monmouth-Roseville was required to come up with various solutions and submit a three year deficit reduction plan to the state.
Woehlke says the idea of closing a school received a good amount of reaction from the public -- but he emphasizes that it's only one option.
"Closing the school was the [option] we chose for the purposes of that bureaucratic exercise," says Woehlke. "That does not mean that that's the one we've chosen out of the current alternatives we're looking at."
Woehlke says the deficit reduction committee, whose first meeting was Wednesday, will meet several times until the end of next month -- at which point it will offer a recommendation to the full school board.