Moline Schools Face Tough Cuts - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Moline Schools Face Tough Cuts

Updated: Dec 10, 2012 06:33 PM CST
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Tonight the Moline School District is considering cutting five teachers at the middle schools and a dozen at the high school. All together, this could save around one million dollars.  

The district is also looking at shortening the school day for some students, and reducing graduation requirements and the number of courses students can take. 

Under the current proposal, high school students taking fewer courses will start their day in second period. The first period would be reserved for students who need extra help or those taking elective classes like band and choir.   

School leaders say the cuts would mean students would have fewer opportunities to take certain electives.  

All this because some of the money the district used to count on won't be there anymore.  

"It's just one more layer of complexity in an already difficult time," Superintendent Dave Moyer says. 

Factors on the local, state, and federal level are increasing the burden on the Moline School District.  

On the local level, current TIF projects like South Park Mall are being considered by the city and could freeze more than $225,000 a year in tax revenues going to the district.

"It's a lose-lose for the school district," Moyer says, "We have no opportunity to recover that money." 

On the state level, pension reform and tax breaks for Elliot Aviation will put an even bigger burden on schools. 

"House Bill 4110 has been sent to the governor's office to have Elliot Aviation be exempt from paying taxes which is $150,000 a year that we won't see," Moyer says. 

And as lawmakers in Washington, D.C. race to find a way to avoid the fiscal cliff, school leaders are watching closely too.  

"You see numbers between 7.8 and 8.2 percent of your federal revenues might be impacted," Moyer says. 

With the local, state, and federal factors, it all adds up.  

The district currently has a two million dollar deficit, but with all this to consider, they're estimating a three million dollar deficit for next year.  

"You have to certainly plan for that, it's not like you won't miss it," Moyer says. 

Along with other cuts, the school district is also looking at limiting the number of credits high school students can take from 32 down to 28.  

"We just know obviously we're going to have to reduce our expenditures because we're not going to see any increasing revenue," Moyer says.