The budget evaluation process for Elmhurst Unit District 205 has ended. The board on Tuesday approved approximately $3.85 million in budget cuts and $857,146 in additional program funding, for a net budget reduction of about $3 million.
The cuts approved by the board include the elimination of 14.80 full-time equivalent faculty members, as well as several other staff positions. But positions will be added in the areas of reading support (4.0 FTE); related services, including social work (.2 FTE) and psychology (1.0 FTE); REACH (3.5 FTE); and special education (.2 FTE). A “place hold” for the position of director of research and assessment also was approved.
Among the substantive changes to the was the approval of a tiered-fee structure for athletics, no reduction in the number of middle school counselors (due to attrition), and the elimination of the middle school guidance program for eighth grade only.
Starting next school year, students participating in athletics will pay a per-student fee based on the cost of providing the sport. Students who play boys and girls basketball and golf will see the largest increase, from the current $110 to $200 per student. Boys cross country and track will have the smallest cost increase, from $110 to $125.
Also approved were fees for music and art. Next year, high schoolers wiIl pay a $150 to play in the orchestra or band and $65 to sing in the choir. Students in high school art classes will each pay $26 for materials and supplies.
After further review of the middle school guidance program, the board approved the recommendation to keep guidance classes for sixth- and seventh-graders for at least another year. However, the board approved integrating the eighth-grade guidance curriculum into health studies.
“In our audit of staff credentials needed for such a transition, we realized that most of the subject matter for sixth- and seventh-graders were social and emotional, which would fall under the social studies curriculum,” Karen Sullivan, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said. “Therefore, we had some issues as to how to integrate the certifications needed to teach social studies with new certifications for counselors.”
Sullivan said administrators will continue to evaluate the sixth- and seventh-grade guidance programs for next year.
A summary of the approved recommendations, including the new tiered fee structure for athletics, can be found here.