DELAVAN — Residents in the Delavan-Darien School District can learn about the $1.25 million, three-year operational referendum at any one of three planned public information sessions.
Sessions will be held at the School Administration Center (324 Beloit St., Delavan) at:
- 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2
- 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14
- 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27
The Nov. 4 referendum is for operational purposes to keep the staff and programs district officials and the school board feel are necessary to provide the best educational experience possible for students.
Despite more than $1 million in position cuts this past year — including eight teachers, two administrators, 13 part-time aides, a full-time aide and two technology integrators — and making over $500,000 in other reductions or savings (additional budget cuts, benefit plan changes, retirement plan changes, energy efficiencies and others), the district is in need of additional funds to fill a budget gap.
As a proactive measure if this referendum fails, the board authorized borrowing up to $1 million from the state trust fund this school year on an as-needed basis. However, repaying that amount if borrowed will cost the district more than $1 million with interest payments over time. A passed referendum would negate the need for this borrowing.
“Staff and programs will be reduced further in the event this November’s referendum fails,” Superintendent Robert Crist said. “The low hanging fruit has been picked. Our benefits have been trimmed and we’re running a tight ship. Ultimately, further staff and program cuts will have a negative impact on the type of education children in this district receive.”
The tax impact on Delavan-Darien property owners is an estimated $0.41 per $1,000 of assessed value. On a $100,000 home, that’s about $3.45 per month.
“The choice is left to the voters,” on November 4, Crist said. “I feel it’s the only reasonable choice we have. We are trying to be fiscally prudent and yet operate a quality educational program that meets student needs.”