School District To Trim $5M Budget Deficit

WILMETTE, Ill. (WBBM) – Superintendent Ray Lachner says he and his staff have some tough decisions to make before next year.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

“All of us are very anxious about this because we don’t want to impact the high quality services we offer our students.”

Lachner says they have a laundry list of options to generate revenue and decrease spending, one of which is charging tuition for all day kindergarten.

“A lot of our parents are paying for private kindergarten for the other half of the day anyway. Given that we are in a deficient reduction cycle we are looking for creative ways to fill the gap in our budget so by offering “Pay for K” for kindergarten is also a possibility.”

Lechner says charging for kindergarten would save Wilmette School District 39 about $685,000 per year but said the option would be “one of the last things we would look at” to tackle sagging revenues and increasing expenses.

Other cost saving options include user fees for band and orchestra, administrative cuts, larger classrooms and even a possible tax increase.

On the district’s website, there are also proposed layoffs. About 50 full time teachers are at risk of layoff.

The district is facing a more than five million dollar budget deficit.

The next public hearing will be Monday, November 15th. Lechner says he welcomes public input.

More from Lisa Fielding
  • mike

    Most of the people that live in this district pay some of the highest taxes in the state. They shouldn’t have to pay user fees for things that students in the city pay nothing for and their parents pay little or no taxes.

    • cate

      Band and orchestra are offered at very few schools in Chicago. At our school, parents pay for band which is offered twice a week.

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