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Lincoln Elementary School will close in Dixon

Lengthy debate concludes with 4-2 vote

DIXON – Lincoln Elementary School will close, by virtue of a 4-2 vote at the Dixon School Board meeting Wednesday night at the high school.

With the meeting pushing past the 3-hour mark, the decision was still very much in doubt.

But, ultimately, John Jacobs and Terry Shroyer cast the two votes against the closure.

Board member Kevin Sward was absent from the meeting.

Board member Tom LeMoine wasn’t confident a ballot referendum would pass, and favored closing the school, but said it was a tough decision.

The vote came nearly 2 months after Superintendent Michael Juneger first presented it to the board as a way of addressing the school district’s $1.5 million deficit in the education fund for the 2013-14 school year, which leaves a fund balance of $1.4 million.

The education fund is the largest in the school district and pays for teacher salaries, educational program and other expenses.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, the second- and third-grade students who would have attended Lincoln will move to Jefferson Elementary School, while fourth- and fifth-grade students at Jefferson would be housed at Reagan Middle School.

Pre-kindergarten and early childhood programs at Reagan would transfer to Washington Elementary School, which still would house kindergarten and first grades under the plan.

The school district has faced reduced funding last few years, specifically from the state. The state sent the district $7.8 million for the 2007-08 school year, but for the 2013-14 school year, the district is only budgeting for $5.2 million from the state.

In the next few months, in an effort to further address the deficit, Juenger will continue to meet with teachers, school staff and the school board to put a plan in place to balance the budget by 2017.

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