Illinois school districts dealt blow from state - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Illinois school districts dealt blow from state

SALINE COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

Heartland schools are dealt a financial blow and classes have not even started. On Tuesday, southern Illinois schools leaders learned just how much they would lose in state dollars. Some school administrators say the cuts are more than expected.  

At East Side Intermediate School in Harrisburg, parents and students fill the cafeteria to register for 4th grade. But as students get ready for the upcoming school year, school leaders already see problems for the next.

"This is really a blow, but it's something we are going to have to absorb down the road a bit," Harrisburg School District Superintendent Dennis Smith said.

Harrisburg School District Superintendent Dennis Smith says the blow, works out to be a loss of nearly $850,000 in state funds. Smith says while cuts are expected, he had no idea they would be this big. 

"We don't have time to adjust for this school year," Smith said. "That's all going to have come out of reserves and we're going to have to make the adjustment probably now for the 2012-2013 school year."

Smith says despite the loss of state funds the district will not cut teachers or programs. But he adds all bets are off come next school year.

Just down the road, Eldorado School District faces a similar problem. This one is worth nearly $300,000.

"We have a surplus and we'll be okay to cover that," Eldorado School District Superintendent Gary Siebert said.

But Siebert says long term they can't afford to have more big cuts, like this one, before the bank account is empty. Siebert adds while his school community will not feel the dollar loss now, come spring staff reductions may have to be made.

"It makes it worse from now, because if we could have found this out in February and made some adjustments for this year it would make the adjustment for next year a smaller adjustment," Siebert said.  

Both superintendents were not clear what the cuts will mean when it come to cuts. However both added staff salaries take up the largest part of their budgets.

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