West Carroll School District Cuts 12 Positions - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

West Carroll School District Cuts 12 Positions

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It's a constant battle for Illinois school districts. Another board was forced to lay off staff because of declining state funding.

The West Carroll School Board, in Savanna, Ill., has faced a loss of four million dollars over the last seven years and continues to see a need to cut back.

Wednesday night, March 21, 2013, the board had to make some difficult decisions.

The School Board, says they're backed up against a wall. The district has only three million dollars left in its ability to borrow and state funding is expected to be cut even further.

The decision board members made is to cut 12 positions.

That includes cuts in music, custodial, aides, four preschool transportation employees, three classroom teachers, special education director (admin. position) and a family and consumer science teacher.

Students spent hours before the board meeting protesting and picketing outside of their schools.

They were asking the school board to reconsider cutting their teachers.

Like many districts in Illinois, West Carroll faces millions of dollars in lost payment from the state.

Board members say closed session hearings about staffing have been heated. And that's because the answers to their problems are not permanent. They're cutting teachers now when there is no state resolution in sight.

Superintendent Craig Mathers told KWQC why cuts came in specific areas.

"It came down to areas they believed they could cut and not have drastic impact, you have drastic impact on every cut that was made tonight."

"I think the biggest frustration for the board of education is we've had to make four million dollars worth of cuts in seven years. When you start cutting staff, you're going to effect kids and effect programs."

One teacher lay off that has sparked a symphony of discontent among students is the loss of their music instructor. Students are worried the music program will wither away.

The superintendent says with that particular lay off, private lessons will end.

Out of the 12 positions eliminated, four have the possibility for rehire, pending approval of a pre-school grant.

Those potential rehires do not include the music position.