Plan includes release of more than 15 full-time equivalent positions
by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve a fiscal year 2013 budget reduction plan, which will eliminate $1,101,776 in expenditures.
The reduction plan, first presented at the School Board meeting on Feb. 13, used a cost-center approach to target expenditures at the elementary school, middle school, high school and district levels. This was the third consecutive year that Kaneland has used the cost-center approach to reduce expenditures. In that time, the district has trimmed more than $6.3 million in projected costs.
A document from Superintendent Jeff Schuler states that the budget reduction plan was also shared with the School Board advisory committees, and discussed at a community forum on Feb.16. The School Board further discussed the budget reduction plan at the its meeting on Feb. 27.
In addition to reducing district expenditures, the board also voted 7-0 to approve the release of “identified part-time and full-time non-tenured teachers.” Schuler’s memorandum states that the district is releasing more teachers than the actual number of positions reduced (14.92 full-time equivalent certified positions; 1.5 FTE non-certified positions), but they “need to do that to provide the appropriate flexibility to complete (the) staffing plan as (Kaneland) shifts existing staff into available positions.”
These staffing cuts will increase class size in grades three through five, from 19-26 students to 22-28. Class size at the middle school and high school levels will increase from 24-29 students to 28-33.
“It is with a heavy heart that the district recommends the non-renewal notices. Clearly these are honorable dismissals. We have invested significant time and training in our first-year teachers and would love to keep them,” Schuler said. “Financially, it is what needs to be done to keep our expenditures aligned with our revenues. I certainly hope that, as we move into the spring, some of the employees released will be called back as positions become available.”
The document states that Schuler anticipates recalling some released staff members by the end of March. Others will be recalled as positions become available.