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updated: 6/6/2013 10:37 AM

Grayslake District 46 could cut extracurriculars to save money

Officials say savings needed to offset budget deficit for next year

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Grayslake Elementary District 46 officials Wednesday night explored whether cost savings should be found in after-school activities as part of an effort to reduce a projected budget deficit for the 2013-14 academic year.

At a meeting in April, another set of elected officials postponed a vote on cutting after-school offerings, including intramural sports, which officials estimated cost $100,000 per year. District 46's revamped board, which includes four new members, was seated last month.

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District 46 school board President Steven Strack during Wednesday's session raised the possibility of trying to save money in the busing of students to activities. For example, Science Olympiad participants can be bused to competitions, but it is not mandatory, officials said.

"Anytime we don't have to bus, let's not bus if we don't have to," Strack said.

Superintendent Ellen Correll said the elimination of boys volleyball would be a potential cost-cutting measure in 2013-14. She said the move could make sense considering Grayslake's high schools don't have boys volleyball teams.

Board member Susan Facklam suggested that further examination of after-school activities before any decisions are made.

"I'm just not in a big hurry to make drastic changes," board member Karen Weinert said.

Park Campus Principal Matt Melamed told the elected officials that his school's activity fees are higher than those in other nearby districts.

District 46 officials have been trying to fill a $2.2 million budget hole projected for 2012-13. Cuts that already have been made include eliminating about 15 full-time classroom instructors for an estimated $750,000 in annual savings.

Other measures to plug the budget gap have been taken, such as reducing the superintendent's budget by $5,000, slicing the elected officials' expenditures by $19,000 and reducing technology spending by $50,000.

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