Six year outlook in District 200

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There are four things that Superintendent Tim Collins said he foresees happening as a school and community within the next six years in District 200. It would include a bond in 2017 to reinvest in the facilities, budget reductions for operating expenses in 2018, a renewal of an eight-year operating levy in 2019 and the renewal of a 10-year operating levy in 2023.

By being upfront and transparent about what the district will need in the coming years, Collins said that he hopes to continue to receive the support from the community that they have always seen in the past.

Lisa Hedin, school board member, said that she would like to see two things as we approach the six-year plan. With the decision process being a multi-month and multi-year decision process, she said that she would like to see community support, but more importantly, she hopes to see conversations.

"I want people to be aware of this and I want to be stopped and I want to talk," she said.

At the April 26 board meeting, the board voted to reduce certain educational positions in the district including an elementary school teacher, seventh grade teacher, middle school music teacher, social studies teacher and high school music teacher. In addition, the board voted to not renew the teaching contracts of six probationary teachers.

As a result, the district was able to reduce anticipated expenditures for the 2017-18 school year by about $522,000 which included the cost of those salaries, benefits and other retirements in the district.

A facilities committee has been researching and discussing a need for a bond that would reinvest in the buildings within the district. A vote for a bond would take place in November if the school board approves it. Collins said that he expects they will need to go forward with a bond due to the condition of the buildings.

The two operating levies are up for renewal in 2019 and 2023.

"We are fortunate that our community has supported two operating levies," Collins said.

The levies go toward operating costs such as salaries, health insurance, electricity and more. Without the approval of the levies, Collins said it could become a major problem for the district.

Looking ahead, Collins said that if the bond and levies are approved along with the budget reductions in 2018, then the district will be a good place to have the facilities and infrastructure for whatever quality education is in 2023.