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The aftermath of the levy failure in the Woodridge Local School District will consist of cuts and pay freezes at the top.
The Woodridge School Board is faced with decisions for where to make cost-cutting measures.
At a special meeting on Friday, Superintendent Walter Davis detailed what he and the district treasurer will do on their ends-- they've agreed to take a pay freeze and contribute more to their healthcare premium expenses.
FallsNewsPress.com reports Davis told the board he'll soon recommend the elimination of 27 jobs.
Combined, those moves would save $530,000, but that's just the start as another $70,000 in proposed general fund reductions are on the way from Davis.
The district is eyeing a possible pay to participate program and transportation cuts.
The levy lost Tuesday by 249 votes.
On the web: FallsNewsPress.com
Woodridge Turning To Input Before Cuts
Levy Failure Could Mean Classrooom Cuts
The Woodridge Local Schools district increased its levy request as it goes back to the voters with Issue 10 on March 6.
The 6.83 mill emergency operating levy would bring in close to $10 million annually if it's approved. It was placed on the ballot in response to the district's levy failure in November by close to 250 votes.
Superintendent Walter Davis is not shy about pointing to where most of the district's money is spent. Even if the levy passes, he says $400,000 in cuts will have to be made.
"We are a people business, so obviously those cuts would include personnel reductions," Davis said.
If the levy fails, not only is play to participate going to become a reality, but cuts could reach the classroom.
"Those cuts are going to go deep into programming and really will change the face of our district," he said.
Music programs and Advance Placement courses are on the table for reductions in spending.
This time around, Davis says the board and its levy committee is branching out in different ways to communicate with voters. Davis says a 24-question survey was posted on the district's website until Feb. 17 to gather a 24 a sense of its priorities if cuts are needed to be made.
Davis confirmed that play to participate fees were among the top suggestions by voters if the levy fails next month.
"We know it's a horrible time to be asking for new money with the condition of the economy, but as you know by law, we have to have a balanced budget and we know looking out that we won't have one if we continue to do business as usual," he said.
From emails and Facebook messages, to sending out mailers and grassroots efforts, Davis says the levy committee is campaigning aggressively, even with its website; supportwoodridge.com.
Woodridge Levy In March?
Voters in the Woodridge will probably see another levy request on the March primary ballot. A 5.88 mill request was narrowly rejected by voters Tuesday. Superintendent Walter Davis says he's not shocked.
"I guess I'm a little bit surprised," said Davis. "I'm disappointed, but I'm understanding, too."
Davis says it's tough to pass a levy in the current economy, but it doesn't change the fact that the district has to operate in the black. That means more cuts. Davis says the budget was already recuced $1.4 million since last year, but the levy would have raised $2.85 million.
Davis says it will be necessary to implement any budget-related changes before the next school year begins since any additional money generated in 2012 can't be collected until 2013. Busing is not expected to be high on the list since the district is "geographically unique," according to the superintendent. There are few sidewalks and it wouldn't be safe to require that most students walk to school.
Davis says he anticipates the school board placing an issue on the primary ballot. About 5,900 people cast ballots and the levy failed by just 251 votes.
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