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Local News

District 102 considering $1 million in budget cuts

LA GRANGE – The La Grange District 102 School Board will discuss a proposed $1 million in budget cuts that would eliminate eight full-time positions at a meeting Thursday night. 

Aimed at reducing a $3 million deficit, the proposal calls for the reduction of one special education teacher position and three classroom teachers. The positions of four retiring special education teachers would not be replaced under the proposed cuts.

Class sizes would remain at one more than the district's target size. Recommended class sizes are 23 for grades K-1; 24 for grades 2-3; and 26 for grades 4-6. 

Other changes include reduction of the technology curriculum and textbook changes. 

One district parent who serves on the district's Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) said the School Board has not consulted the committee about the budget like it has in the past. 

“The Board is not required to ask for input from anybody, but District 102 has never operated that way,” FAC member Peter Daniels said. “District 102 has a tradition of actively seeking out community input on any significant decisions. This particular move is very surprising.”

The proposed cuts were made public Monday, which Daniels said left him without enough time to consider them before Thursday's meeting.

But District 102 Superintendent for Finance Lauri Calabrese said the FAC's role has changed recently, which is why the committee hasn't been as involved in budget discussions as in the past. She said that her predecessor liked to use the committee as a sounding board, and the committee received proposed budget changes before the School Board. Calabrese said she didn't think it was right that the committee was privy to the proposals before the School Board. 

The meeting begins with a closed session at 6 p.m. An open session starts at 7 p.m. in the Learning Resource Center on the second floor of Park Junior High School, 325 N. Park Road in La Grange Park.

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