Dunlap parents worried for their students' future

By Beau Ebenezer

January 15, 2014 Updated Jan 16, 2014 at 12:30 PM CDT

DUNLAP, Ill. -- The outrage and disgust over Dunlap School District's multi-million dollar deficit is ringing loudest in voices of parents.

Dunlap parents searched for answers at Wednesday night's public forum.

Many were outraged at what district-wide budget cuts could do to their children's education.

"Parents are going to lose confidence in the school district," said parent Karen DeHeer. "Many of our top performing students will end up leaving the district or families who have students like that won't move in."

If the proposed budget cuts happen, students may miss out on programs like band at a young age.

Gym classes may also double in size with the loss of staff.

Several parents shared the same opinion that fees should be added to certain programs like band rather than drop the program completely.

But because the district has already increased several fees like registration, parking, and property taxes, officials do not want to add to that burden.

Other parents said cuts need to be made in areas that are not close to the students.

"We have eight district staff personnel at a cost of $1.1 million," said Karen Disharoon. "I think that focus needs to be more in the classroom. We should make some cuts at the district office staff level."

The school board said all input from parents and teachers will be taken into consideration in the coming months.

Board members added that they will not vote on the reductions but will provide direction to administrative staff.