Another Illinois school district is trying to erase budget woes by cutting teachers.
School board leaders in Indian Prairie School District 204, covering Bolingbrook, Aurora and Naperville, voted to approve the release of 145 non-tenured teachers at the end of this school year, marking the biggest ever release for the district.
“The Board certainly wishes we could achieve the necessary budget reductions without releasing a single member of the District 204 team,” said Curt Bradshaw, Board of Education President for District 204 in a press release. “However, we owe it to our taxpayers to live within our means as they are striving to do.”
On average, teachers in District 204 make $63,240 according to the district’s website. That’s about $3,000 more than the state average.
The district faces a $21.4 million deficit next year. School board officials estimate the layoffs will save the district $7.1 million dollars.
Indian Prairie School District 204 blames the State of Illinois’ budget crunch for its need to make cuts and it is not alone.
-- In February, Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge approved the layoffs of 75 teaching and 62 non-teaching jobs.
-- Carpentersville School District 300 voted to release 112 teachers earlier this month in anticipation of a budget loss.
-- Elgin District U-46 (the state’s second largest school district) approved layoffs for 1,037 employees, roughly 25 percent of its staff, at end of this year, according to the Daily Herald.
--Last week, the Belvidere school district got the green light to eliminate 57 teachers, according the Rockford Register Star.
That’s just a small sample from the last few weeks, but it could get worse. The State of Illinois faces a budget deficit of $12.8 billion and Governor Quinn’s 2010 budget calls for cutting $1.3 billion to education to fill that gap.
Teachers plan to use their resources to fight back. They’ve already launched a major Facebook campaign to make the entire country aware of the situation.
“This past week over 23,000 teachers were given pink slips in California and 17,000 in Illinois. In honor of ALL teachers, copy this into your facebook status. Let's honor those who have made an impact in ALL of our lives! In the comments, name a teacher who has impacted you.”