The meeting came about after budget recommendations by the District’s Administration at the end of the last fiscal year.
The District is currently experiencing a multi-million dollar funding shortfall that is both due to a stagnant tax base and a lack of payments from the State of Illinois.
One by one, the Board of Education unanimously approved cutting positions, totalling more than 50 employees, either due to a lack of proper certification or for reasons cited as sound financial planning.
District Human Resources Director Diane VanHootegem tells WGIL the process includes reviewing student enrollment and the budgetary process.
“In determining what positions we can afford to ensure that we can have on staff for next year, as well as looking at students, you know, with our demographics and mobility issues, we need to determine whether we have the right number of staff in the district and through Knox-Warren Special Education,” says VanHootegem.
Uncertainty on grant funding was also cited as a reason behind the staff reductions.
VanHootegem says they never want to surprise everybody, meaning employees considered for reduction were notified. After the approval, the employees will receive letters informing them of the reduction in force.
Other staff positions will not be filled through arbitration. The Board of Education, however, also rehired 132 non-tenured certified staff and administrators for the 2014-15 school year.