The district is facing a worst case scenario of a $600,000 budget deficit for this year, after having a $362,000 deficit the year before. The district has also been facing declining enrolments as both Ashton and Franklin Grove shrink in population.
As a property owner, not even 100 feet from the high school, this is probably the best hope the district has of getting its finances in order, short of going Scott Walker and tearing up the teachers union contract, or a massive influx of new residents and/or business(neither of which is going to happen).
The Dixon Telegraph has more:
The board is looking at relocating students from the middle school to the other two schools in the district, said John Zick, the district’s superintendent. The board met Tuesday to discuss the proposal in front of about 25 staff and community members.
Last year, the school district operated with a $362,000 shortfall in the education fund. Based on what is spent this year, that shortfall could balloon to more than $600,000.
“The $600,000 deficit is a worse-case scenario,” ZIck said. “We can’t operate like this.”
If the board decides to approve the reorganization, changes would take effect in the fall and save the district $440,000.
One reason for the decrease in spending is declining enrollment.
In the 2004-05 school year, the school district had 666 students. It’s down to 520 students.
Ashton-Franklin Center has three school buildings, a kindergarten through fourth grade elementary school, a fifth through eighth grade middle school and a ninth through 12th grade high school.
Based on the reorganization, the elementary school would house kindergartners through sixth-graders, and the high school would be home to seventh- through 12th-graders.
“The middle school would be used for practices and other things,” Zick said. “As far as instruction, if this were to happen, there would be no classes there.”