The District faces a $5.9 million deficit come May, which superintendent Ken Hinton blames on a lack of state funds and reserves to fall back on.
Reserves they don't have because, “In the years preceding, we probably...well I shouldn't say probably, we overspent.”
T o balance the budget the board plans on hiring freezes, cutting staff and closing a total of three primary schools. Not to mention one high school.
While Hinton believes closing a high school is inevitable, board member Jim Stowell has an alternative that would keep all four high schools, including Woodruff, open.
“Academy programs at the four high schools with each different having a specialization it could allow us to maintain four smaller high schools,” nodded Stowell.
No matter which schools close, teachers say Hinton deserves a failing grade for going back on a promise not to impose anymore freezes.
“Mr. Hinton needs to be held accountable and in my opinion and he did not, if he blew all the money and there's nothing left for the teachers, than he either needs to resign, the board needs to fire him,” said Peoria High teacher, Jeff Adkins-Dutro
Still, Hinton says the issue is more about the state's failure to pay millions of tax dollars...
“If the money that was owed to us was coming to us, we would not be having this conversation.”
Either way it's a spending lesson teachers are paying for.
The District does plan on cutting a few administrative seats, but will not know how many total cuts they'll make until May.