Education
11:59 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

District 150 OKs 200 pink-slips, Peoria Police costing district unbudgeted $180,000

200 full and part-time District 150 employees are receiving pink slips for next year. Peoria Public Radio’s Alex Rusciano reports that includes 40 more teachers compared to the same time last year:

 Last year the district pink-slipped 26 teachers for honorable dismissal compared to 66 this year.  Nine-part-time teachers are included in that number.  Peoria Federation of Teachers President Jeff Adkins-Dutro spoke out against the decision, saying dismissed teachers find jobs elsewhere because they might not get hired back:

 “Then the district is stuck with a shortfall every year.  A shortfall equates with high turnover,” Adkins-Dutro says.

 Other teachers also say a reduction in force would stretch already-thin resources across the district.  School Board President Rick Cloyd agreed with the educators’ position, but says the district’s hands are tied:

 “This is a terrible way to have to manage an organization and personnel. It’s caused by the mismatch between the requirements of the state of Illinois for us to provide notice.  And for us to not understand what the state is going to provide,” Cloyd says.

 Schools will start to find out months from now if there’s enough state aid to hire the pink-slipped teachers back.   

  UNBUDGETED EXPENSES FOR ARMED POLICE AT HIGH SCHOOLS 

 District 150 is spending an unbudgeted $180,000 this semester to pay for armed Peoria Police officers at its high schools. 

 Peoria Public Schools is spending 180-thousand-dollars of unbudgeted money this semester to place Peoria City police officers at its high schools.  

 The District has been using armed Peoria Police Officers since a state board determined the District’s so-called resources officers don’t constitute law enforcement, and therefore can NOT carry weapons on-duty.  That additional help from the city is costing $180,000 in unbudgeted costs through the end of the school year.  School Board member Debbie Wolfmeyer says the agreement is too expensive in the long-run, and she wants the district to come up with alternatives:

 “Whether we talk to the county, other communities, nearby, we just post the position and certified officers from other departments can apply, to find a more financially efficient way to do this,” Wolfmeyer says.

Administration hopes to present the board with other security options for the high schools by summer.