TONIGHT: Mostly cloudy with lingering snow into the late evening. Up to an inch will be possible. Low: 23. Winds: North 5-10 mph.
THANKSGIVING DAY: Mostly sunny and colder. High: 27. Winds: Northwest 10-15 mph.
Springfield School District Layoffs
First layoff notices are on the way after Monday's District 186 School Board meeting. We now know exactly which district employees are being let go. Trying to close a multimillion-dollar gap in funding, the board is making a "reduction in force". More than 60 district employees are being impacted by layoffs and furloughs in the district. Some are being let go now with a strong possibility of being brought back. For others, the outlook is not so good.
The bi-weekly meeting was moved to the Grant Middle School gymnasium because of increased interest from the community. Between sign language interpreters, teaching assistants, security, clerical and custodial staff, 31 non-certified district employees are being laid off. Letting go of the five middle school security officers alone is expected to save around $170,000. The board also approved six furlough days for 25 trades employees; that should save the district $60,000. Getting to this point hasn't been easy for anyone in the district, and the community is fed up.
"You have failed," one angry community member who addressed the board during the meeting said. "Let's face it: District 186 is just like a regular business, and it is not easy to run a business. We have gains and losses. We must do what's best for our stockholders rather than worry about what one customer thinks of our decision to take something off the menu. We the parents and staff are those stockholders."
Back in early February, the board approved what was at the time thought to be around $6.5 million in cuts. One of the most highly contested is the closure of CCPA, the Capital College Preparatory Academy.
Some of the employees set to be laid off at the end of this school year could still be back for the next. Letters about the layoffs for some make note of just that. In addition to the layoffs and furloughs, the board also finalized plans to reduce work days for teaching assistants and for special education attendants.