308 Meeting on Cuts

District 308 held its first public forum on cuts discussions in December. (WSPYnews.com photos by Mark Harrington)

The third in a series of public forum meetings to educate parents, staff, and students while looking at a possible $3.1 million cuts for the next school year, the Oswego-based 308 School District Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. tonight at Oswego High School.

This marks the third year, the school district is looking at cuts, the previous two sliced money away from the administration and central office. 

Now the school board is looking at cuts that affect students from pre-K to 12th grade.

The public will be able to address the board of education on pros and cons of possible cuts during tonight’s meeting. 

However, the agenda showed a two minute limit per person instead of three or five minutes previously allowed by the board. In addition, the board is allowing each person to three questions on the same topic with public comment ending at 9 p.m.

According to Theresa Komitas, 308 Public Relations Director, the board imposed a decision for cuts of February 1st or this Friday. 

However, she added that the state requires a budget to be board-approved by Sept. 30th with 30 additional days to file.

Komitas told WSPY News that the board will look at the current working document and is not expecting to make cuts at tonight’s meeting. 

She said those decisions may come at two upcoming February board meetings.

The district is looking to slice upwards to $11 million over the next five years or by 2023.

During the past months, a 12-member school district finance committee, an ad hoc advisory group comprised of parents, citizens, staff, and have met.

The 308 District school board committee members are Lauri Doyle and Brent Lightfoot, the co-chairmen while two top district officials also serve.

In the presentation and meeting, the board will review administration suggestions for educational programs, deciding which program to move off or keep on the list of possible cuts while looking at full, 50 percent, or partial reductions to save money.

In its December meeting, the board moved financial cuts for junior and senior high school athletics, clubs, activities, and intramurals tentatively away from the lists, conducting a straw poll of its board members.

Possible revenue sources explored by the 308 district include a county-wide one cent sales tax, allowing out-of-district kindergarten students to attend full-time with a fee, raising driver education fees, and increasing club, activities, and intramural fees.

Board member’s Jared Ploger’s has sought information in consolidating Yorkville, Plano, Newark, and Lisbon into one Pre-K to 12 county-wide school district.