District 51 to eliminate 42 teaching positions

School District 51 will eliminate 42 teachers and certified staff members as part of the first round of at least $10 million in budget cuts, The Daily Sentinel has learned.

The district will also eliminate or reduce funding for several programs, Superintendent Steve Schultz announced in an email to District 51 employees this afternoon.

The following is a list encompassing the first round of cuts and the amount of money expected to be saved:

- Eliminate 42 teacher and certified staff positions, $2.18 million
- Reduce the district-funded extended summer learning program, $800,000
- Reduce utility expenditures, $625,000
- Reorganize curriculum and instructional departments with reduced staffing levels, $568,000
- Restructure School to Career program, $220,000
- Discontinue funding of Valley East program, $210,000
- Increase high school and middle school athletic fees, $112,000
- Discontinue funding of Glade Park Community School operations, $110,000
- Eliminate payment for school resource officers, $100,000
- Eliminate participation in the Legislative Coalition, $18,000

Those cuts are expected to save the district nearly $5 million. Schultz said the district needs to find savings of another $5 million or more in the next few months, depending on the state’s final budget.

The $10 million in cuts next year, combined with $15 million in reductions the last two years, mean the district will have slashed its overall budget by 18 percent over three years.

“As we face the 2011/2012 budget, we must look at the programs we are funding and determine the most cost efficient and effective way of moving forward. We will no longer have the ability to fund all that we have in the past,” Schultz wrote in the email.

The District 51 Board of Education will adopt the 2011-12 budget in June.

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Daily Sentinel.



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