Concerns over budget crisis at West

Lisandra Bernadet, staff writer

It is hard not to notice that our school is overly crowded, prices on lunch have gone up, and teachers keep talking about the lack of funds they are receiving. When parents and students hear that the school does not have sufficient funds, most are quick to point the finger at the school administration.  A few questions that resonate in the air are: ‘Who is spending all the money?’, ‘We pay taxes and there are even more students this year!’, and ‘We have enough money for this organization/club but not for this one?’

When comparing finances, Joliet West Township High school to the surrounding schools, financially JTHS has been the most stable.  The school’s budget has faced a 15% reduction due to the states financial problems. When more students are transferring to the district and the budget has just been decreased the school will have to make some cut-backs. Mrs. Gibson, Joliet West principal, stated that she will only spend money of ‘programmable space’, which is space that will enhance education. As the principal her goal is to improve the facility cheaply.

The school receives its money from private taxes, such as propriety taxes. But with the horrible economy, many people are losing their homes, with no one living in the houses that results in no one paying taxes. The economy has had a trickledown effect and now is hurting schools and students.

Richard S. Pagliaro, JTHS Assistant Superintendent for Business & Personnel revealed that the money the school receives gets divided into budgets for specific programs for the school, the school has no other choice but to spend the money that the budget is set aside for. The majority of the money actually goes to faculties’ salary and benefits and then to the use of the students.

In today’s financial crisis all schools are facing cut-backs and even resorting in firing teachers.  Fortunately, JTHS decrease in budget has not jeopardized any of the teacher’s jobs and the administration is trying their best to work with the money they have to benefit the students.