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Local

District 12 cuts 14 teaching, administrative positions

JOHNSBURG – About 13 teaching and one administrative position have been cut as District 12 works to rein in a million-dollar deficit.

Departments and grade levels across all four buildings were affected by the elimination of 14.12 positions, Superintendent Dan Johnson said Wednesday. Johnsburg High School will also have one assistant principal going forward instead of two.

While dropping enrollment will keep some class sizes from climbing, others will be impacted, growing by two, three or maybe four students, he said.

The district had about 175 teaching positions this school year.

The cuts will translate to about $671,000 in savings, Johnson said.

"We're early in the budgeting process so more [cuts] may come throughout the spring and the summer and when we see what happens in Springfield," he said, pointing to a multi-year deterioration in general state aid to school districts that has been exasperated by declining enrollment.

The cuts come less than a month after Johnsburg taxpayers OK'd a $41 million referendum for school facility maintenance and improvements, but those dollars won't come fast enough to affect this coming fiscal year's budget.

The district has struggled to address maintenance issues under its financial constraints, which include nonexistent fund balances and dropping enrollment. Unexpected maintenance projects have pushed the district over budget multiple times.

Any money the district gets through the bonds cannot go toward staffing and will be restricted to facility improvements and maintenance due to the language of the voter-approved referendum.

A decision hasn't been made by the school board yet on when the district will seek bonds.

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