Peoria School Board Looks At Other Ways To Cut Budget

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Friday, April 3, 2015 - 9:46am
Updated: Friday, April 3, 2015 - 1:42pm
(Photo courtesy of Peoria Unified School District)
Peoria Unified School District offices.

The Peoria Unified School District Governing Board met Thursday night  to discuss how to save money and not lose students. The district is considering going to a four-day school week because of budget cuts.

The district is facing a $1.7 million shortfall next year. Moving to the four-day school week is estimated to save $3.9 million.  In a survey, nearly 40 percent of parents said they would consider taking their kids to other schools if Peoria goes to a four-day week. Governing Board President Matthew Bullock said that needs to be a serious consideration because the state funds public schools on a per student basis.

“Every child in PUSD is worth X amount of dollars when it comes to financial we get from every student," Bullock said. "If one percent leaves, that is $2.1 million.”

He says he’s concerned with possible dropping enrollment; the savings from the four-day week could be canceled out. The other option would include a series of cuts to other departments. Superintendent Denton Santarelli warned those options aren’t as viable.

“The sustainability of what we are doing is not there," Santarelli said. "We can come up with the best of a terrible situation, but it’s not going to get us any further down the road of trying to put the resources in the classrooms.”

The board is trying to preserve a 2-percent salary raise for teachers. April 9, the board will vote on whether to move the four day week.

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