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WRGT-TV FOX 45 News :: News - Top Stories - UPDATE: Urbana Schools to Cut $1 Million and Close Local Intermediate
Wednesday, April 24 2013, 06:46 AM EDT
UPDATE: Urbana Schools to Cut $1 Million and Close Local Intermediate
URBANA -- Urbana School Board members have voted on $1 million in cuts, plan to close Local Intermediate School and could completely cut its sports programs in hopes of reducing a projected budget deficit.

The decision to close Local Intermediate will move that school's kindergarten and first-grade classes to North Elementary, second- and third-grade classes to South Elementary and fourth- and fifth-grade classes to East Elementary. Sixth-grade students will be moved to the junior high school.

"You cannot continue to always do more with less. At some point you're going to have to cut," said Charles Thiel, Superintendent of Urbana Schools.

The district has a renewal levy of 9.75 mill on the May ballot. If voters don't approve that levy many more cuts could happen, including sports and extra-curricular activities, Thiel said.

The district has already cut freshman sports and asked parents to pay a one-time $100 transportation fee for children who play sports, but it might not end there.

"If the levy fails there won't be a transportation fee because there won't be any athletics for the whole year," said Thiel.

The levy vote in May is a renewal, which usually passes, but if it doesn't an additional $2.4 million in cuts will have to be made.

Parents say sports are too important to cut.

"It keeps children busy," said Christy Harrigan, who has two kids in Urbana schools. "I think it's great for time management actually.

"Socially, it helped me make friends, help me with my grades, too," said Kristi Jones from Springfield.

"We believe that our community will step up, and will pass this renewal levy. We just want to make sure they understand what's at stake for our students and our community," said Thiel.

Here is a breakdown of the cuts and how much projected money will be saved:

No field trips, building budgets by 25% - $33,000
Cutting supplemental positions, department chair positions - $126,000
No Freshman Sports, Eliminating bus aid positions, consolidating bus routes, One time transportation fee - $100 should save $80,000
Eliminating One Administrative Position, Elementary School Principal - $92,000
Closing Local Intermediate - $200,000
Four Teachers have resigned, will not replace those positions - $308,000
Library Aids, hours for classified staff - $114,000


Follow Annette Peagler on Twitter: @Annette2245 UPDATE: Urbana Schools to Cut $1 Million and Close Local Intermediate

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