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D-427 cuts seven teaching positions

Published: Saturday, March 16, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

SYCAMORE – Sycamore School District 427 is following through with its plan to cut seven positions and reduce other staffing positions from full time to part time. The district’s school board approved the cuts during Tuesday’s closed session meeting.

The staff reductions are part of the district’s entire budget reduction plan, which was presented during the last several regular board meetings.

“This is just an ongoing effort to make sure we are being fiscally responsible,” District 427 Superintendent Kathy Countryman said.

The school district is searching for ways to reduce costs as cuts in state aid and sluggish growth in property tax revenue have squeezed its budget. The District 427 school board approved a budget with a $2.6 million deficit at the start of this school year, and is expecting enrollment declines from peak levels.

The cuts go along with the district’s, following a framework that has been implemented over several years to reduce district costs, she said.

“They’re precautionary steps ... we have to take to make sure we are utilizing our resources efficiently,” she said.

The cuts will eliminate certified core teaching positions and noncore teaching positions, as well as a reduction in a special education teaching position, said Countryman.

Because the district still is facing uncertainty with its revenues for next school year, Countryman said the cuts had to be made.

“At this point in time, the reductions happen now so we’re not overstaffed when the school year starts,” she said.

Countryman said there is a possibility the positions will be rehired at a later date as more information about enrollment numbers and state funding becomes available.

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