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Edwardsville School Board OKs latest round of cuts

by Diana Zoga

KMOV.com

Posted on March 27, 2012 at 9:03 PM

(KMOV) – This week, the Edwardsville District 7 School Board voted on changes that are expected to save the school district another $700,000 in the next school year.

Starting this fall, the district will stop paying the tuition costs to send 20 special education students to schools outside the district.  Instead, the district will partner with the Clinical Child and School Psychology graduate program at SIUE to implement in-house programs for some students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and emotional disabilities.  The district expects to save around $200,000 in the 2012-2013 school year with this move.

The district will also sever ties with the YMCA and handle before-school and after-school programs for K-5 students within the district.  Dr. Ed Hightower, Edwardsville Community Schools Superintendent, says the district will save at least $450,000 next school year.

The latest cuts follow a March 12th vote to eliminate 62 positions in the district.  The cuts include retired teachers, tenured and non-tenured, support staff and administrative positions.

The state of Illinois is now $8 billion in debt, which is causing massive cuts to schools all over the state.  The state owes the Edwardsville district $2 million in aid and has not paid Edwardsville in over six months.

"It's a matter of making a decision to do the reductions or go back to the public and ask for higher taxes and we're just not going to do that at this time," said Dr. Hightower.

The district used over $6 million in reserves over the past three years, leaving $3.5 million to cover late state aid payments.

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