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posted: 3/17/2010 12:01 AM

Dist. 7 funds transfer not related to budget crunch

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A public hearing Wednesday, March 17, on a proposed transfer of funds in Wood Dale School District 7 is not related to projected budget shortfalls, officials said.

The district plans to transfer $450,000 from its education fund to its operations and maintenance fund and will hold a hearing at 7:30 p.m. Superintendent John Corbett said it's a common procedure and doesn't relate to the district's projected budget shortfall due to falling revenue from the state.

"This would be happening this year whether we had a budget crunch or not," Corbett said.

Like many other school systems, District 7 expects revenues to dip for the 2010-11 year. Corbett said it's "hard to put a number" on the actual dollar amount District 7 expects to come up short.

A total of four teachers are slated to lose their jobs in the 1,300-student district at the end of this school year. And Corbett said District 7 might also need to release some paraprofessionals, although the decision won't be final until 30 days before the end of this school year.

If more state funding comes through than expected, officials plan to rehire at least some of the dismissed teachers.

Corbett said cuts are relatively minimal for now in comparison to other districts and include only teachers association with state programs, such as early childhood services

"Last year we knew we were going to be facing this - not to this extent - but we knew the (Consumer Price Index) was down," Corbett said. "So we trimmed some things, had a community meeting and did show financial data to explain that we needed to be responsible."

Some cuts included a welcome-back lunch for teachers at the start of the school year, as well as teacher lunches on institute days. The district also instituted fees for busing, which was previously free. And summer school prices were raised for students attending electively, so the students would pay the full cost and the district would not provide subsidies. Finally, District 7 also raised book fees for the first time in 15 years.