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|ROWVA School Board Approves Teacher Cuts, Closing Wataga Elementary School
|Nearly two-dozen employees of the ROWVA School District will lose their jobs at the end of the current school year and an elementary school is closing.
The District 208 school board, before a packed house Monday night in the ROWVA High/Middle School's Learning and Media Center, voted unanimously during a special meeting to let 13 teachers and 10 education support staff members go after Superintendent Lloyd Little gave a budget update that predicts major deficits this fiscal year and next. The blame is laid squarely on the state's dire financial situation and Governor Pat Quinn's proposal to cut more than $1-billion in K through 12 education funding.
Little says the amount of money in the Education, O&M, Transportation and Working Cash funds has dropped significantly in just eight months time.
"Balances as of March 31st in those four funds are $2,690,434.86. That's what we have in savings as of March 31st in those four operation funds," Little said. "We started the year with $3,718,341. We're short $1,027,906.14."
Little says the district's deficit range for two years is projected to be between $1.1-million and $2.17-million, depending on a number of factors. The expectation is the school district will not receive any more state aid payments.
ROWVA Education Association President Dale Grawe questioned the need to cut so much given the district's healthy reserves. Deb Tuttle from the Illinois Education Association also made a budget presentation and said the district has a rainy day fund. She recommended tapping into it to save some jobs.
The board voted unanimously to recommend that the REA open the current contract to consider a one-year salary freeze and an early retirement incentive. The union has 10 days (April 16) to respond. The REA rejected a request by the board last month to open the current contract.
Board members also, without opposition, approved closing Wataga Elementary School. The move, officials say, will eliminate five teacher positions.
The school board will take up more budget-related matters during its regular monthly meeting April 19th.
A large group gathers inside ROWVA High/Middle School's Learning and Media Center for Monday night's special District 208 School Board Meeting
(WGIL News Story and Photo by Mike Perry)
|04 06 10 by Newsroom
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