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Niles Community Schools still seeking $750K in budget cuts

Published 11:45pm Monday, June 13, 2011

Though classwork may be over for students, Niles Community Schools officials are still hard at work looking at what more of their budget they can cut.
In a presentation to the board of education on Monday night, Supt. Richard Weigel outlined where the district stood financially as it struggles with state budget cuts.
“We will spend $953,000 less on our teachers next year,” Weigel said, outlining the results of layoffs.
That number is just one of many line items being cut within the district’s budget.
In addition to teacher layoffs, the district has cut $100,000 from athletics and $185,000 from the central office — that number is partially a result of shift to an 80/20 insurance plan.
All together, Weigel said the district cut an estimated $1.5 million in expenditures.
But they still have more to cut.
In order to hold to the board’s recommendation of a 5 percent general fund balance, Weigel said the district will have to make an additional $750,000 in cuts to the budget for the 2011-2012 school year.
One source of expenditures related back to the newly reopened Eastside Connections School. A total of $80,000 will go toward the salaries for a custodian and secretary at the school.
Weigel said volunteers have been busy repainting classrooms, replacing light fixtures and ceiling tiles in preparation for the school’s reopening.
“It is coming along beautifully,” Weigel said.
More than 170 students signed up for classes, he added, and the school’s seven teachers were chosen.
Those teachers recently made a visit to the University Prep Academy in Detroit, a school where Weigel said students are trained to go on to university study.
The teachers observed the school’s operations and Weigel said, “they are very excited.”
Monetary donations also continue to come in for the school, Weigel added, saying the district continues to receive funds from various donors.

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