NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Mclean County Unit 5 School Board held its first of three community engagement sessions to discuss what’s next for the district.

Members of the school board said they are rolling out a four-phased plan.

This comes after the district approved around $2 million in cuts last month to help reduce the deficit for the fiscal year 2023 from nearly $14 million to around $11 million.

The first phase, which included Saturday’s meeting, aimed to reach out to the community for help to plan the future of their schools.

Superintendent Dr. Kristen Weikle said they’ve exhausted all measures to meet the need of their students without sufficient education funds.

“We’ve been responsive to the mandates, to the needs of our students and we’re at a point though where our education fund deficient can’t be ignored anymore,” said Dr. Weikle.

She said it’s going to take a community effort to solve their financial difficulties.

Unit 5 board members say phase four will consist of a recommended plan in August.

The next meetings are scheduled for April 25th at Kinsley Junior High, and a virtual meeting on April 26th. Registration is required in order to access that meeting.