Belleville District 201 school board lays off teachers, staff members

News-DemocratMarch 17, 2014 

Belleville School District 201 Board of Education honorably dismissed three teachers and nine teaching assistants at its meeting Monday night.

"It's an unfortunate thing," Superintendent Jeff Dosier said. "We are doing it as a precaution given what we know about the state funding."

For past three years, Illinois public school districts have not received the full share of general state aid as promised to them by state law.

Assistant Superintendent Brian Mentzer said the state currently owes the district nearly $2.1 million, and he expects that figure to grow to $3.3 million by April 1.

"It continues to make it difficult to forecast our expenditures when our revenue is unknown," he told school board members.

State law requires public school districts to notify certified teachers of any layoffs at least 45 days before the end of the school year. These cuts are commonly referred to as "reductions in force."

These individuals may be hired back depending on funding and enrollment at Belleville East and West high schools, according to Dosier. The three certified faculty members -- two full-time and one part-time -- were all first-year teachers, he said.

In addition to the teacher layoffs effective at the end of this school year, seven full-time teachers are retiring, he said.

Dosier estimated the staff members honorably dismissed and the faculty retirements would save the district an estimated $1 million next school year.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or jforsythe1@bnd.com.

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