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D-158 plans $1.7 million in teacher, staff hires

Ongoing budget process could refine number of new hires

HUNTLEY – District 158 officials could dole out $1.7 million for new hires that would help manage a growing high school population and larger-than-desirable class sizes at the middle schools.

District board members recently granted the administration the authority to spend up to $1.7 million on new personnel for the upcoming 2014-15 school year, as officials start refining the annual district budget for a late summer passage.

The proposed hires, ranging from high school teachers to security aides, are prioritized based on need and the district’s budgetary constraints, said Jessica Lombard, assistant superintendent of human resources. The district also has restructured positions in past years to prevent new spending.

“These positions are all that we think we need; however, we need to be fiscally responsible and figure out what positions fit within the budget,” Lombard said.

The district has planned $896,000 for top-priority hires, including seven new high school teachers, two seventh-grade teachers, and multiple technology positions to accommodate the district’s expanding tablet initiative.

The essential hires primarily address shifting student needs within the district.

Huntley High School is expected to add roughly 150 students next year and then more students in future years, Lombard said. At Marlowe Middle School, certain class sizes are larger than classes at Heineman Middle School.

Certain class sizes for Marlowe seventh graders are larger than the district’s desirable average of the upper 20s, Lombard said.

The proposed teacher hires at the middle school level would help manage class sizes for Marlowe’s current crop of seventh grade teachers, she said.

Last year, the district spent roughly $417,000 on new hires, including a high school department chair and teachers, according to district figures. Officials also reshuffled dollars in other areas to support tablet-related hires and add special education positions for the current school year.

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