No budget cuts planned in District 13
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“Because we have so little commercial property, this affects us far less than (Districts) 24 and 30,” said Meredith Brosnan, the assistant superintendent for business. “They’re talking millions of dollars, because they have so much commercial property, they tend to be the big settlements, and they tend to take a long time to settle, so the back payments are greater.” In District 13, about 90 percent of the tax levy is paid by homeowners. Tax challenges for single-family homes are typically settled within one year.
After a year of salary freezes for most employees in the district, teachers will have a 1.25 percent increase in September, followed by their longevity-based Step increment in January. Salaries for nurses will rise 1.25 percent, and custodians will get a 1.5 percent increase.
Two classroom teacher positions would be eliminated, however that is based on an expected enrollment drop of 50 to 60 students for next year.
One factor that could affect the budget is a possible mandate in the Affordable Health Care Act that would require the district to offer health insurance to additional employees. Brosnan said that would mean increased costs for the district, but it would most likely not affect the budget until 2014.
The district also has had two safety audits, and recommendations will soon be presented to the school officials. Board members could choose to fund some additional security enhancements.
Christine O’Toole, president of the Wheeler Avenue School PTA, said she is generally happy with the budget that was presented, though she would like to see more money for upkeep of the schools. Specifically, she said the main hallway at Wheeler needs to be painted.
The budget is expected to be adopted by the board at its March business meeting, and it would be put up to a public vote on May 21.