R.E.A.CH. announces six-year plan

R.E.A.CH. announces six-year plan

By Barb Dent

R.E.A.CH. announces six-year plan

By Barb Dent

Rockford Educating All Children (R.E.A.CH.) is pleased to announce our six-year financial plan, our equity plan and proposed cost savings and cuts. Our plan calls for District 205 to make $7.6 million in cuts and balance their budget this year, with the tax refunds over three years followed by reduction of the deficit in the following three years.

Our plan differs from the district because we aren’t affecting education and the children. Sports, extra-curriculars, librarians or tutors remain, and we don’t require a tax increase. Our equity plan calls for the District to create a six-year financial plan and to ensure equity funding to all schools. It also calls for the elimination of court-ordered programs which create inequity like SFA, and eliminates giving the magnet schools extra funds and calls for the creation of a maintenance plan to equitably maintain all schools. The District’s plan to pay the protesters in one lump sum, plus spend an additional $8 million in interest, reduce their deficit and balance their budget, would devastate the educational process and would require increasing taxes twice. Their plan is simply emotional blackmail.

Voters should vote “NO” on District 205’s referendum because the Rockford School District has enough money to:

l Balance its budget

l Pay back the tax protesters over a 3-year period

l Reduce its deficit over the next 6 years by making only $7.6 million in cuts and implementing $7 million in cost-saving measures, for a total of $14.6 million in savings.

R.E.A.CH.’s six-year plan is the following:


2002-3 2003-4 2004-5 2005-6 2006-7 2007-8 2008-9 Total

Cuts 7.6 0 0 0 0 0 0 7.6

Deficit 7/01/02 26.8 26.8 26.8 17.8 8.8 0 0 0

* 32.8 32.8 32.8 23.8 14.8 5.8 0 0 ** 38.8 38.8 38.8 29.8 20.8 11.8 2.8 0

R.E.A.CH. Deficit reduction $9 million per year after tax refunds are paid.

* 7/03 Probable deficit if current budget deficit remains $6 million

** 7/03 Possible deficit if current budget overspending continues and deficit is increased by $12 million

R.E.A.CH. recommends that the tax protesters be paid back over a 3-year period and then begin reducing the deficit. We feel this is more practical than the District’s recommendation to balance its budget, pay back refunds in 1 lump sum, spend $8 million in interest and reduce its deficit in 4 years. Their recommendation would be devastating to the educational process. The District’s recommendation means making $15.3-21.3 million in cuts and is emotional blackmail.

District 2002-3 2003-4 Total

Cuts 12.2 3.1-9.1 15.3-21.3


Our equity plan calls for the District to do the following:

l Create a 6-year financial plan to ensure equity in funding to all schools.

l Create a 6-year plan to ensure all schools have similar equipment.

l Create a maintenance plan to equitably improve all schools.

l Eliminate immediately the court-ordered reading programs and require all schools to use the District-wide reading program so there will NOT be a “dual” system.

l Eliminate immediately the extra court-ordered monies going to the magnet schools and site-based budgets to ensure equity in funding to all schools.

l Develop a sound educational plan to address the needs of all students.

l Create a board policy which allows all citizens to participate in the dialog of the board’s committee meetings and eliminate current board policy, which allows the chair to discriminate against certain individuals.

l Create a policy which assigns elementary assistant principals equitably.

l Reconvene the Unitary Status Steering Committee to address educational, equitable and financial accountability status.


R.E.A.CH.’s plan would allow sports, extra-curricular activities, librarians, non-certified nurses and tutors to remain in District 205. Our plan looks at cost savings measures as well as administrative cuts, cuts needed to have equity in funding for all schools, and calls for the District to evaluate certain programs/personnel/cuts to be justified as being educationally sound decisions. Our plan has identified over $21 million in potential cost-saving items, only 2/3 of which ($14.6 million) needs to be implemented. In addition, our plan does NOT require any additional tax increases, unlike the District’s recommendation, which will require another tax increase in April 2003.

Cost Savings Reduction Amount Sub-total

Working Cash Transfer $3,000,000.00

Reduce 12-month staff salaries $500,000.00

Increase Administration Health Contributions $91,500.00

Teacher Retirement Savings $900,000.00

Transfer SPED costs to IDEA Grant $1,000,000.00

SPED extra funds & better utilization $800,000.00

Improved Teacher Utilization HS $255,000.00

Improved Teacher Utilization MS $330,000.00

Improved Teacher Utilization Elem $180,000.00

Total Cost Savings $7,056,500.00

Administration Cuts

Eliminate Deseg. Administration & Staff $2,000.000.00

Eliminate General Director of Assessments $95.000.00

Eliminate 2.8 MS tutoring administrators $442,468.00

Eliminate 6 MS Curriculum Developers $420,000.00

Eliminate 4 High School Tutorial admin. $350,000.00

Eliminate Ombudsman (16) $550,000.00

Administrative Cuts $3,857,468.00 $10,913,968.00

Cuts Needed for Equity in Funding

Magnet Schools Asst. Principals $275,000.00

Eliminate SFA $2,000,000.00

Eliminate Reading Recovery $300,000.00

Eliminate Site-based budgets $1,200,000.00

Eliminate Magnet School Extra Budget $1,340,000.00

Total Equity Cuts $5,115,000.00 $16,028,968.00

Costs That Need to be Evaluated/Justified as Educationally Sound

Saturday Academy Expenses $59,000.00

All-Day Kindergarten (implement fee) $3,000,000.00

HS Attendance Specialists—4 positions $133,082.00

HS 9th Grade Transition—8 positions $338,840.00

Gifted Services—3 positions $174,285.00

CAPA—1.2 positions $ 88,068.00

MS Computer Technology $60,836.00

Closing 3 schools $1,600,000.00

Other Cuts $5,504,111.00


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