Cutting deeper

By on February 12, 2009

Kaneland’s recommended cuts include 20.5 positions

by Lynn Meredith
Kaneland officials on Monday presented their recommendations of financial cuts that will need to be made next year if the district is to avoid a large deficit in the near future. The cuts, presented to the School Board, include non-personnel items, as well as personnel.

As the administration readies for next year, it must figure out a way to reduce expenditures by $1.5 million, in addition to the $750,000 it has already cropped out of this year’s budget. It presented its lists of cuts that totaled $810,00 in non-personnel costs, such as building supplies and technology, plus $747,000 in personnel costs, including certificated and non-certificated personnel. Nearly the same amount is needed to be cut from the 2010-11 budget.

The administration announced that six certificated and 14.5 non-certificated positions will need to be cut as the district moves into next year.

Cuts in personnel do not necessarily mean that people will lose their jobs. Positions may be cut, but the employees could be reassigned. Each year, resignations due to relocation, job changes or personal reasons, along with releasing people because of performance concerns, allow positions to be cut.

“We will certainly want to give serious thought to reassigning people to other positions before releasing them, if they are qualified for those other positions,” Superintendent Charlie McCormick said.

The complicated process of placing people in available jobs is based on what certificates an individual holds or how much seniority a non-certificated employee has.

“If you have a certificate in PE and math and another person has a certificate in PE and first grade and is teaching first grade, then we might move you out of PE and into math, and the other person out of first grade and into PE. Then we can get rid of the first grade position. That’s just a simple example of not having to fire anyone,” McCormick said.

Besides the normal activity of resignations and reassignment, other changes affect the number and nature of positions that will be needed in 2009-10. The district is mandated by the state to implement its Response to Intervention (RTI) program next year, and certain special education services and programs will be restructured. Also, six teaching positions will be reallocated from elementary to middle school and high school based on changes in enrollment, and two assistant principal positions need to be filled.

Nonetheless, McCormick said that the district will probably have to release some people. The numbers and names are not yet known. Any certificated individuals would need to be notified 45 days prior to the end of school. That means that staffing decisions regarding certificated personnel will be up for approval at the March 9 School Board meeting. Decisions regarding non-certificated staff would be made in April.

“I hate to have to do this. I’ve done it before. It’s very painful for all of us,” President Lisa Wiet said.

2 Comments

  1. elburnite

    February 13, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Is this the same school board that absolutely needed the referendum passed? The one that needed the second school in addition to the first one – which by some miracle one year later is no longer needed? Is this the same school board that raised our taxes amongst threats of cutting programs but has cut all field trips? Is this the same school board that needed the money and then gave raises across the board? Is this the same school board that has the highest paid government official in Illinois at its helm?

  2. Dan Herkes

    February 14, 2009 at 5:06 AM

    “the highest paid government official in Illinois at its helm.”

    That’s not true. Don’t impulsively repeat untruths.