35 Springfield District 186 employees, including 11 certified teachers, were told they’ll likely lose their jobs at the end of the school year, but the school board is warning this could be just the beginning.
“We’ll be the flagship district in a whole fleet that’s sinking,” said interim Superintendent Bob Hill after hearing from several people during Monday’s board meeting, pleading with the board to save the proposed jobs on the chopping block.
The cuts come as the district is grappling with more than $5 million in cuts. The board decided earlier this month which positions were to be cut, and this week it heard which people were to be cut.
They’re reduction in force notices, which means it’s quite possible they’ll lose their jobs but it’s not a foregone conclusion. These employees will be first on the list to be placed elsewhere in the district should a position open through retirement, attrition or through other means.
The mood in the District 186 board room was palpably somber, especially after hearing from members of the public. Board members were quick to point out that this might not be it — more cuts could be coming if the state follows through on a proposed $1 billion cut to education statewide.
“I implore you, we have to find a way in the next few years to raise revenue,” said board president Chuck Flamini. “This can’t keep going on.”
“The fact that we are not beating down [legislators] doors… is depressing,” said school board member Scott McFarland, who encouraged the board to be more actively involved at the Capitol.
Should the state follow through on its $1 billion cut proposal, Springfield District 186 could be out an additional $6 million, according to Hill.