U46 cuts 1,002 positions; most ‘extra work’ done by teachers
By Emily McFarlan Miller firstname.lastname@example.org March 19, 2013 8:54PM
Updated: April 22, 2013 11:50AM
ELGIN — Yes, the Elgin School District U46 Board of Education voted near the end of its marathon 4½-hour meeting Monday night to cut 1,002 positions next school year.
But, U46 Chief of Staff Tony Sanders said, “The numbers are misleading.”
That’s because many of those positions are reductions of after-school and other work that is done by employees on top of other full-time positions in the Elgin school district, Sanders said.
In fact, “Because of retirements, we were able to maintain nearly all our staff,” Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Melanie Meidel told the board.
The cuts are “customary,” part of the reduction in force U46 does each school year before it has determined programs, classes and funding for the upcoming year, Meidel said. Staff must be notified of those cuts 45 days before the end of the school year, she said.
About 5,900 people are employed by U46. Last year, the district released a total 209 employees.
This year’s reductions include 34 non-full-time tenured teachers; 28 part-time non-tenured teachers; three non-tenured teachers in their first, second or third year; two teachers lacking the proper certification; one final-year probationary teacher; and one permanent substitute teacher, she said. They also include 18 educational support personnel who are part of the District U46 Education Assistants union and two who aren’t, as well as one administrator, she said.
But the biggest number of cuts was to part-time, non-union educational support personnel positions (560), which include seasonal employees such as testers, Sanders said.
That was followed by educational support personnel for funded projects (352), Meidel said. Those are grant-funded stipends for current staff or part-time staff members, Sanders explained.
Of those positions, 73 are Common Core State Standards facilitators, which are stipends given to teachers, he said. Those teachers still will be employed by the district; only the stipend is gone until the district determines whether to fund that extra work next year.
Another 131 are English Language Learner interventionists, he said. They also are full-time teachers who took on additional work outside the school day.
Sanders said he was unsure how many people the district actually would lose because of the cuts.