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Challenging Financial Picture for Schools

Macomb, IL – The Macomb Board of Education is facing some tough decisions. A representative from a financial planning company told the board that the district's year-end balance is projected to drop in each of the next five years. Steven Miller of PMA Financial also said that by 2011 the district could be more than $5 million in the red. Miller said the board might be forced to evaluate staffing levels because of the drop in money and a drop in enrollment. He said nearly 60% of the school budget pays salaries and another 15% is spent on benefits. Representatives of the Macomb Education Association urged the board to avoid making any cuts that directly impact students. March is traditionally the month when Illinois school districts set their staffing levels for the next budget year, so Macomb school board members will have just a few weeks to review their options.