School Board Votes For Independent Review Of Budget Per Union’s Request

Marty Kasper:

Tensions were high and the hallways packed for a special meeting of the Rockford School Board on proposed budget cuts to close schools, eliminate programs and layoff more than 300 employees.
Earlier this week the Rockford Education Association questioned whether those cuts need to happen at all, and now they’re offering to pay fifty grand for an independent review.
Today, the board was split but approved a motion 4-3 to support the union’s request
“The main reason is because it is projections, it is projections, legitimate projections based on trends, and I don’t see the point to second guessing that,” said School Board Member Jeanne Westholder.
“I think it is worth while to take a look, either to put it to rest or to be sure that we have the accurate figures to vote on,” said School Board Member Alice Sautargis.
The district’s finance team says they need to cut 50- million dollars, while the union believes it’s more like 15- million.