The following information was shared with District 86 parents from District 86 Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law. More referendum information from District 86 is available at https://d86.hinsdale86.org.
“As you know, the referendum on the November 6, 2018 ballot to fix and improve our schools failed. The projects that fixed infrastructure and made Central and South more secure for students and staff cost $42 million. To complete the $42 million in repairs that need to be made within five years requires corresponding cuts in the budget as it currently exists. At its December 17 meeting, the Board voted to make reductions in the way we currently spend money in order to spend more money on fixing our facilities and making them more secure.
Click here to see a table showing the areas and dollars amounts the Board voted December 17 to reduce.
Among other cuts, the Board approved $400,000 in reductions to activities and over $700,000 in reductions to athletics. The list of activities and athletics cut can be found at the link above.
Included in the vote was making adjustments in how we determine which electives run. Currently, we section classes using the Board-approved staffing guideline of 25 students per class, plus or minus two. Using our financial forecast as a guide, in the past, we have been able to bring to the Board staffing recommendations that have allowed us to run classes with fewer than 23 students. We no longer have that financial flexibility to section in favor of student opportunity. The plan for staffing in 2019-20 and beyond is to stay closer to 25:1 than we have in the past, which means there will be fewer sections of courses running next year. We will do everything we can to preserve as much student opportunity as possible, but our financial constraints are now tighter.
The community will have another chance to speak at the April 2019 election because the Board also voted December 17 to put a reduced referendum of $130 million on the April 2, 2019 ballot. More fine-tuning needs to be done to refine the ballot language and make the number precise, but the important note is the Board is putting a referendum on the April 2019 ballot. What matters is, if it passes, the Board will reverse as many of these reductions as possible.
The hard reality, however, is that these cuts will be in effect until one of two things happens: the facilities are fixed or a referendum passes. Without the funds from a referendum to fix the facilities, these cuts will be in effect for five years.”