Illini West Approves Staff Layoffs
Carthage, IL – The Illini West School District has laid off three certified teachers, and three non-certified staff members. The move is an attempt to overcome a $330,000 budget deficit heading into next year... in place due largely to lack of state support.
The layoffs included a part time spanish, part time art, and full time agriculture teacher. The move reduces the district's number of certified staff to 32.
Superintendent Mike Mauzy says the district did not take state budget predictions into account when estimating the budget shortfall. He says he can't trust any numbers coming from the state. That includes Gov. Pat Quinn's threat to cut education funding by 17 percent if lawmakers don't approve an income tax increase.
"The legislature's not going to do a one percent [tax hike]. They don't have the guts to do it at this point in time. It's all politics right now," says Mauzy. "My question that I ask the legislators is: with all these teacher reductions, and all these staff reductions, tell me: how is this going to improve the economy?"
Mauzy says the district also cut about $160,000 from the budget in areas such as supplies, technology and athletics. He says new textbooks will not be purchased next year as a result. He says all athletic teams will remain intact, but money for things such as equipment and travel will be reduced.