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posted: 5/9/2012 4:07 PM

Itasca Dist. 10 bracing for budget shortfall

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Officials in Itasca Elementary District 10 will seek feedback this fall from parents and the community on how to deal with a budget shortfall for next school year.

School board President Kathryn Miller told residents this week the district is still required to provide the same number of government-mandated programs, but will receive fewer grants and reduced funds from the state.

"We want to keep revenues equal to expenditures," Miller said during the annual Shape of Itasca meeting.

So far, the district has not cut any programs in its three schools. Both Franzen Intermediate and Peacock Middle schools are slated for new roofs, while Franzen also requires an addition to replace portable classrooms students have used for the past four years.

"We are starting to see expenses mounting and we want to meet that head-on," Superintendent Marcia Tornatore said. "We want to remain open with the public as we look at tough choices."

District 10 receives about $225,000 in general aid from Illinois for about 900 students. But due to state budget crisis, the Illinois Board of Education notified the district the amount will decrease next year. Miller said the district is budgeting for roughly $169,000 in anticipation of the shortfall.

As a result, officials plan to use about $350,000 from the district's $1 million savings fund. And Tornatore said they want residents' feedback on how much to borrow from the fund, as well as ideas on how to cap spending. Any decisions will be implemented in spring 2013.

"We can't sustain (using savings) for numerous years and we need to identify what possible reductions we can make," she said.

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