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Woodridge Superintendent: Expect $1.8m in Cuts if Levy Isn't Passed in 2012

If approved by voters, the levy would generate $3 million per year and cost taxpayers an additional $209 annually for every $100,000 in valuation.

At Tuesday’s special meeting, the started answering the school system’s most pressing question—what if?

If – the district’s five-year, 6.83-mill levy – doesn’t pass on Aug. 7, voters will cast ballots on an identical levy this November.

In the event the November issue fails, the board will need to approve seven-figure cuts ($1.2 million in personnel, $600,000 in employee benefits) to keep the budget balanced and in the black through 2015, according to Woodridge treasurer Deanna Levenger.

The reductions would go into effect July 1, 2013, she said.  

As discussions got underway at the meeting, Davis said eliminating 20 full-time teachers would avert $1.2 million in costs, but he noted the layoffs could also be split between the day-to-day operations staff and educators.  

Among the teachers, those laid off would most likely be teachers in elective programs versus those who teach common core standards like math, science and social studies.

One way or another, the cuts are coming if a levy isn’t passed in 2012, he said.

“The members of the community have consistently said ‘don’t threaten us.’ Well, I don’t believe we’re threatening anybody by telling them what they’re facing…(in the 2013-14 school year),” said Davis.

Board president Tammy Heffernan voiced her central concern, saying “my fear is when we talk about the levy having to be passed in 2012 the people will not vote in August because they know they have November coming up…it’s imperative that it passes in August.”

If approved, Issue 5 would generate $3 million per year, raise a total of $15 million in revenue and cost property taxpayers $209 per year for every $100,000 in valuation.

The district hasn’t been able to pass a levy since 2004. To remain in the black, school officials have cut

What do you think? In light of potential cuts, are you more apt to vote for the upcoming levy?

Donna Kaiser July 15, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Mr. Elevant, what is it you think that parents aren't paying? In addition to our property taxes, we pay school fees, testing fees, supply fees, art fees, pay to participate in band (no sports in our house) and field trips. We participate in fundraisers, bake sales, volunteer opportunities within the buildings, sports concessions stands (again, for other people's kids who play). We organize parent groups that respond to each school building's needs. We donate water and snacks and food for teacher dinners and clothes and books. Are suggesting that we also personally fund all future cost increases, just divide it up by family and send us bills to save you the expense? Parents, lots of us, pay far more than our property taxes. I appreciate your point of view, as we have done the unemployment dance over the course of the last few years. We make far less now than we did when we married 17 years ago. That said, we cannot punish current students and inhibit their futures during their one shot at K-12 education.
Earl Elevant July 16, 2012 at 03:14 AM
With all due respect, each and every time a levy comes up, I've heard about these mythical teachers who spend 12+ hours at school. I don't think they really exist (outside of coaches...possibly). It will be easy to find if they exist between when school starts in the fall and when it becomes time to vote on the levy. It will take nothing more than driving by a school at 6am and taking a photo of the parking lot. Same thing with 6pm. While I can't speak for the early morning hours, I do drive by plenty of schools during the afternoon hours and most times the parking lots are mostly cleared out 30 minutes after school lets out. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree until school starts back up. But I don't expect to see anything but a barren parking lot at both 6am and 6pm.
Earl Elevant July 16, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Oops on my last post. Thought the levy was in November. Guess we won't have any time to see these teachers supposedly putting in such long days before the vote on the levy.
Adam C. Miller July 17, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I think it is time for churches and other religious institutions to start paying a SMALL % of property taxes in their areas...
Chris August 09, 2012 at 01:39 PM
If I hear one more time this is for the children I might scream. It's not for the children the money is for the teachers salary and benefits that suck up 85% of budget. My children go to woodridge and all the cuts that are being talked about hurt the kids. Maybe the greedy teachers should chip in more on benefits and take a pay freeze and get rid of poor performing teachers.

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