Staffing, Program Cuts Revisited At Monday's Dist. 135 Meeting

Updated: Dec 31, 2020

Dist. 135 school board will revisit controversial budget cuts to make up a $2.5 million shortfall in a special meeting Monday night.

ORLAND PARK, IL — District 135 school board officials are taking the unusual step Monday of revisiting a vote that approved cutting junior high programs and elementary staff to make up a $2.5 million budget deficit. Those cuts could be rescinded at early as Monday night.

The meeting comes as parents, upset by the cuts, pressured the board to reconsider the decision that was made at the Feb. 11 regularly scheduled board meeting. Only four of the seven board members were present for the vote. The vote was unanimous. Although the board has significantly reduced its budget since 2016, it still has nearly $3 million more to trim from its $80 million budget. It has not raised taxes.

Earlier this month, the board decided to cut five, full-time elementary enrichment staff positions. It also voted to phase out honors Spanish and German and honors science and social studies during the next few years.

Parents, however, pushed back, saying that the cuts would sacrifice the quality of their schools and the value of their properties.

In a letter to parents, Board President Laura Berry said that "overwhelming parent feedback" has caused the board to reconsider the cuts, and they could change the decision at a special meeting Monday night.

The meeting was moved to a bigger location because of the parents' responses.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at Meadow Ridge School, 10959 W. 159th St., Orland Park.

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