Metro East schools facing dwindling budgets

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KMOV.com

Posted on March 2, 2011 at 8:06 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 2 at 9:48 PM

(KMOV)-- Several metro east schools are trying to maintain their educational standards in the face of drastic funding cuts.

In the Fairview Heights, Grant Consolidated School District 110’s Superintendent Matt Stines is asking voters for a property tax increase on April 5th.
Stines says if the education fund does not get a boost, kids could lose out on physical education, music, art, and extracurricular activities.
Stines say the 65-cent increase per $100 of property value would generate about $800,000 a year which would keep those programs going.
About 750 students attend Grant Schools K through 8.  There are about 6,000 registered voters in the district. 

There's a public meeting at Grant Middle School at 7pm Wednesday where the superintendent will address questions and concerns and talk more about the need for the property tax increase.
In Edwardsville, the district will cut 18 teachers and $2.3 million from the next budget. That could mean eliminating the vocation program after the next school year, which costs the district $1.7 million a year.
Parents protested, but the school board already approved that cut.
Most buses will be cut, as well, and the state of Illinois has not paid the half million dollars it owes for this year’s prekindergarten program.
The Harmony-Emge School Board cut its music and band programs to save $640,000. Parents fought those costs too, but the district predicts a half million dollar deficit. Illinois owes the school another half million dollars.

KMOV's Mark Schnyder contributed to this report.

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