About five hundred Springfield students were forced out of the public schools last month for failing to have required physicals and immunizations. The number has since dropped to 87 kids missing classes. The deadline was October 15th. School board member Mike Zimmers says the policy should be changed for next year to have the deadline before school gets underway.
"Parents just need to plan, you know when they start thinking about ... we need to get school clothes or school supplies -- in your mindset just think, we need to get physicals, we need to get shots,” said Zimmers.
The district says some parents of students still out of school have been impossible to reach. A change this year might have added to confusion for some parents. Students were required to get a Tdap immunization which protects against 3 viruses including whooping cough. A meningitis vaccination will be required next year.
District 186 superintendent Robert Leming says the district is also considering ways to shave 6 million dollars off its budget for the next school year. He says as state funding continues to shrink, two major areas where costs can be cut are high school courses and technology investments. Leming says he is calling for a moratorium on new tech purchases.
A 4 year lease with Apple ends this school year - that's a nearly 2 million dollar annual cost. Leming says taking a period out of the high school schedule would save money as well. But, he adds there will have to be further sacrifices: “Then we’re going to have to do some other trimming on top of that ... it always comes down to personnel, because that’s where the dollars are - we’re not that far along.” Leming says the district should have a better idea of what the budget will look like in the spring.