OREGON, Ill. (WTVO) — Oregon School District superintendent Dr. Tom Mahoney said he is recommending the school board close DLR Junior High School at the end of the 2021-2022 school year.
Mahoney said his recommendation is based on the school district’s current financial status, saying the district has been operating at a $410,000 budget deficit over the past five years.
In a letter to Oregon school families, Mahoney said the district has taken steps to reduce expenses and create a balanced budget, including reducing its teaching staff by 14% and administrative staff by 28%.
“We believe that any further reduction to our staffing will significantly impact our student experience and ultimately our student performance and we needed to look for other solutions,” Mahoney said.
A recent survey of the school building’s infrastructure in the Fall revealed that almost $6 million in improvements to DLR Junior High School would be needed to bring the building up to modern code and safety standards.
A commissioned study by the University of Illinois determined it would be in the district’s best interest to close the school and save over $200,000 annually in operational costs.
Mahoney said junior high students would move into the high school building.
The recommendation will be presented to the full School Board at the upcoming May 17th meeting. Mahoney said the board will take no action on the recommendation at that time.