WMBD/WYZZ-TV—PEORIA--District 150 school board members have sights set on President Obama's stimulus bill, but there's no guarantee they'll get the money they're banking on.
There are more than 240 Central Illinois projects hoping to get a chunk of money for a stimulus bill that hasn't even passed the Senate yet.
District 150 school board president Dave Gorenz isn't denying the challenges a $4.5 million budget deficit brings. But after learning money from Obama's stimulus bill may not be restricted to infrastructure, he says money is on its way.
“It should be extra funds that come to the district over the next two years compared to what we normally get for Title 1,” said Gorenz.
Those Title 1 funds would benefit high poverty schools like Woodruff. But members of the Economic Development Council say with more than 200 projects asking for money, there's no guarantee who will get the green.
C.O.O of E.D.C, Vickie Clark said, “Everyone that has submitted information for these lists is hoping that their project will be eligible for economic stimulus money, until we have those rules and regulations we don't know how those priorities will be set.”
But not all school board members see the stimulus package as a cure.
“At the end of the day I think the stimulus money is a burden unto our children because it's a debt from another government source,” said School Board Member Jim Stowell.
Still at the very least the stimulus package will buy the District something valuable when it comes to decisions.
“Rather than make them for 2009 school year, which is very short time period it does afford us time to study that more,” said Gorenz.
Gorenz is remaining optimistic the District will receive those funds.
He says after making reductions to
expenditures, “Stimulus bill or no stimulus bill the District is $650,000 from a balanced budget this
In a statement issued by the District during Monday night's school board meeting it states, "The $4.5 projected deficit for the current fiscal year has been cut by the board, to $1,654, 325 through several different measures, e.g. renegotiating diesel and natural gas contracts."