Earlier this year, teachers in the Dixon school district went on strike demanding a new contract and pay raises. After 9 days the Dixon school board relented and agreed to give the teachers a raise. At the time of the strike Dixon school Superintendent Michael Juenger said that the demands of the teachers would increase the districts deficit by over $400,000. Between that pay increase in the new teachers contract and declines in both property tax revenue and state aid the Dixon school district is facing a $2 million deficit for the upcoming school year. Sauk Valley Media reports:
School board member Jim Schielein referred to the district’s projected 2013-2014 budget as a train wreck.
Dixon School officials reported Wednesday a projected deficit of a little more than $2 million across all of its funds for the next school year, leaving the district with a $6.6 million total fund balance.
The education fund will take the biggest hit, said David Blackburn, business manager for the district.
Also, the district will pay more in salaries to staff as a result of agreed upon raises and more in health insurance costs, Blackburn said.
The bleak projections caused concern among board members, including Schielein.
“At this rate, we’re going to be borrowing money in 2 years,” Schielein said.
Board member Tom Lemoine said the district is in dire straits, encouraging administrators to keep making the necessary cuts before it comes to a point where the district needs to borrow money.
Of course these fiscal troubles facing the Dixon school district were predictable when the school board voted to approve the new teachers contract. At the time I wrote the following:
As elected officials charged with being responsible with the taxpayers of Dixon’s money the Dixon school board is being fiscally irresponsible by agreeing to a contract that would guarantee the districts deficit would increase to nearly $2 million dollars.
At that public meeting superintendent Juenger also talked about the districts finances going forward and in particular what would happen for fiscal year 2014. Juenger would say, “If we added on the salaries being asked for next year, add on the special education staffing, add on teachers assistance, technology, our estimated expenses, additional expenses would be about a million dollars. What that would do is take the estimated expenses to $22 million…and you get an estimated deficit of $4 million.”
The parents and taxpayers of Dixon are going to be in for some hard times in the coming years. All because their teachers union demanded a new contract that is out of line with what the district can afford. And whats worse their dully elected school board members willfully agreed to it
After the Rita Crundwell scandal and now this predictable and deliberate exacerbation of the districts financial problems the people and taxpayers of Dixon are getting screwed over and over again.
When will it stop?
And when will the Dixon school board members realize they did this to themselves(with a little help for the teachers union)?