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D161 Board Makes More District Staff Cuts

The Summit Hill school board approved the elimination of nine non-certified staff positions at Wednesday's meeting at Arbury Hills School. Board members also froze administrative and non-certified staff salaries for the 2013 fiscal year.

The  board of education approved the elimination of nine non-certified positions Wednesday, while at the same time freezing the 2013 fiscal year salaries for administrative and non-certified staff. The board's votes came after members were in closed session for almost three hours.

Six full-time employees and three part-time staffers were cut because of declining enrollment and , Supt. Barb Rains said, adding that the full-timers were honorable dissmissals and have recall rights. Non-certified employees fill positions that do not require a teaching certificate. Rains would not indicate which schools the employees are from until she notifies them about the decision. 

READ: Keep Up With D161 Stories by Checking Out Our Summit Hill School District Section

The staff reduction also helps the district continue to winnow down a $3 million budget deficit over the next three years. Rains said she didn't have an estimate on how much would be saved with these cuts, but those numbers will be part of the amended D161 budget, which will be presented in May. .

As for not increasing certain 2013 salaries, the board unanimously approved the measure for district administrative staff, but the vote was 5-1 for non-certified staffers, with board member Denise Wildeveld dissenting. (Board President Mary Kenny was absent from the meeting for medical reasons.) Wildeveld left before she could be asked to comment about her vote.

Other board action taken at the meeting at Arbury Hills School included:

  • signing the district's auditing firm, Mulcahy, Pauritsch, Salvador & Co., to a new three-year contract with no increase in its fee for the first year
  • accepting two contractor bids to do school roof repair work; about $250,000 to work on and schools and about $53,000 to work on . 

For more details, check out the replay of Wednesday night's live blog of the meeting above. Also, watch video of a performance by the Arbury Hills drama club.

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upset April 26, 2012 at 12:48 PM
As a non certified staff member it really upsets me that the board has frozen salaries again. This is the second time in 3 years. I am not looking to get rich but a living wage would be nice. I do not think its right to have us go to school and get a degree and then pay us what a kid could make at McDonalds.Good thing I love the kids, its sure not the money.
Spring 2013 April 26, 2012 at 02:00 PM
@upset, you would be safer working at McDonalds, at least they have security cameras there!!!
Bbaxter April 26, 2012 at 08:01 PM
Way to go school board! You saved the district next to nothing. Non certified employees work really hard and get the least amount of pay! Way to make hard working employees feel needed. Sad when you consider the salaries of administrators in our district. Cuts should be made elsewhere.
Shari April 26, 2012 at 11:17 PM
I think we need an overhaul on the board. They seem to be digging the district deeper in the hole. As for the relationships board members have with each other, I know one is just basically "using" this to get ahead. Its typical politics and its sad that it is happening within the school district, when the children and their education should be the main concern.
Lv227 April 27, 2012 at 12:08 AM
So sad to be a part of the district right now. Yes I have seen it myself and its crazy that this board member does not realize she is being played. He has several girlfriends including this dance partner. Why cant they just focus on what is good for our schools and community
Renee Colton April 27, 2012 at 01:28 PM
Dear upset: Take a look at private sectors. Most have been on salary freezes for the last three years or so. It's much easier to freeze your salary than if you were to lose your job. We all have degrees, but it's time to tighten our belts in this tough economy. You do not want to collect unemployment or pay for COBRA. Take the freeze. As for kids working at McDonald's - I hardly think they are making more than you. If so, you should apply now!
Spring 2013 April 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Dear Renee, actually the starting salary at McDonalds for Asst. Mgr is $10.82 an hour, thats higher than what non certified staff at 161 are making...sad. And the clerks at 161 average $9.00 an hour with NO benefts. This school district is the lowest paying in the area. I think thats what 'upset' was trying to say.
Citizen April 27, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Are we still planning on hiring a SHJH Principal and a HW Assistant Principal? These jobs have not yet been posted.
BGresident April 27, 2012 at 07:19 PM
Dear upset, I too am upset. I am upset that I have to pay extra fees for my kids' activities. I am upset that band especially is going to cost me a lot more. I am upset that the activity bus will no longer be there, so I am going to spend A LOT in gas driving my kids to band in the morning and home after their various activities. I am upset that some good teachers have lost their jobs. So my pay is frozen too because I have to pay more for the services my kids use. In fact, I might be taking a pay cut by the time I pay for those fees plus the high school ones. Please. Stop whining. If your job is that horribly paid, you can find something else.
caspert April 29, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Wow its seems like people that live in glass houses like to throw a lot of stones.... It's not called whining its called using your common sense! The rest of us who have worked hard and made the right decisions shouldn't be punished. What does freezing an administrative salary that is about 130,000 a year doing? Absolutely nothing! Let alone the rest of the administration. That is a PR ploy to make it look like they are also so called taking one for the team or suffering. Give me a ******* break! The actual people that do the hard work making less than 10 dollars an hour or 12 are the ones getting screwed. This is a laughable vote. As far as a middleaged balding man using a middleaged crazy bobblehead woman to get ahead that is hysterical too. My question is its a school board not the presidential cabinet! Its not that prestigious! I would love to see what all these women see in this guy... No not everyone has a degree or as it appears on the patch and with the school board decisions being made this past year is that they earned their degree at clown school! That is about as much sense as most of this stuff makes. ANy roofers out there to do all the repair work needed on those roofs? I would love to see where those bids came from! And BG how come it was okay for the teachers not to take a pay freeze but the non certified staff can't be upset about it?

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