The Board of Education approved Monday cutting about 10 more full-time, certified staff members for the 2011-12 school year to reduce expenditures in the next fiscal year.
Those cuts will include two administrators, six tenured teachers and 2.5 non-tenured teachers.
At Monday's meeting, board members voted 6-1 in favor of the administration’s recommendation, with Janet Hughes casting the lone vote against the measure.
According to district documents, the reduction would result in a total savings of approximately $695,329.
“It’s with deep regret we have to do this,” District 113A Superintendent Tim Ricker said.
The cuts will likely include teachers in specialty areas, including those in music, art, physical education, psychologists, social workers, counselors, special education and school counselors.
Under the financial plan approved by the Illinois State Board of Education, District 113A is required to eliminate borrowing and build fund balances over the next two years by reducing expenditures and/or increasing revenue. The district has been operating under the plan since it was certified in financial difficulty by the state in December.
Additionally, the state currently owes District 113A about $1.3 million in categorical funding, an issue district officials are "deeply concerned" about heading into budget season, Ricker said prior to the meeting.
"If we do not receive that money from the state by the end of the year, our fund balances will be at $400,000," he said. "That concerns us."
Ricker said the timing of the cuts had nothing to do with the April 5 election. According to state law, tenured teachers must be notified of their dismissal at least 60 days prior to the end of the current school year, while non-tenured teachers must receive 45 days notice. Had the district waited until after the election, it would have been too late, Ricker said.
During the public hearing held before the vote, resident Dave Maher asked school board members to reconsider making the cuts, saying fewer teachers mean more students in each classroom.
“I do not feel 40 kids in a classroom is acceptable,” he said. “I feel at this time we’re not doing our students justice if we support teacher layoffs.”
Maher instead urged the community to support the upcoming referendum.
“I’m committed to the referendum and to getting it passed,” he said. “In my opinion, keep the teachers that are here and if the referendum fails, so be it.”
Maher specifically addressed board member Janet Hughes, saying he has sent her numerous e-mails, questioning her reasons for voting against the last referendum and plans to vote against the next one.
“Mrs. Hughes, I’m holding you accountable,” he said. “My children have 40 kids in their classes. I’ve heard you vote no for the referendum and you vote no for teacher lay-offs. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.”
According to the state financial plan, the board is to consider an . However, the district's plans could change depending on the outcome of the.
Last year, District 113A eliminated 42 certified staff members, 12 paraprofessionals, 12 buildings/grounds staff members and four administrators for a total savings of $3.17 million for the current fiscal year.