137 District 207 employees to be laid off

January 12, 2010 3:17:52 PM PST
Maine Township High School District 207 in the northwest suburbs is planning to cut more than 100 jobs next year to close a $19 million budget deficit.Teachers and other employees learned Tuesday if they were losing their jobs.

The schools, district and teachers' union did not comment.

Maine Township District 207 oversees three schools -- Maine Township East, Maine Township South, and Maine Township West.

The district passed out 137 termination notices Tuesday to employees making them aware of upcoming job cuts. Seventy five full-time teachers received termination letters.

"It said that some of the teachers are leaving now and we hear rumors about in school and you can see some of the emotions in the teachers. Some of them crying in class and it's sad to see a lot of these great teachers go," said Josh Swoboda, Maine East student.

The purpose of the cuts are to eliminate $15 million in expenses and help cut down a projected $19 million deficit in the 2010-2011 academic year.

"It's horrible because a lot of the issue is with how they're spending the money and not the teacher, but how the faculty spend the money. And to let teachers go is their fault. And I'm not saying it's the teacher's fault, but saying it's the principal's fault," said Jaime Espinoza, Maine East student.

"Terrible. I feel awful for teachers and everybody that's getting cut," said Sophie Steckly, Maine East parent.

The cuts will affect non-tenure teachers, support personnel, safety monitor, secretarial and clerical staff, teaching assistants, custodial staff, administrative personnel, and security guards. Students are outraged at losing some of the teachers and staff and learning that the size of some of the classes will increase.

"I do feel it's unfair. How are we going to learn if there's more kids in each class?" said Joanna Espinoza, Maine East student.

The district believes they had no other option but to cut jobs.

The community will have some input at a public meeting at Maine East on January 20 although it is expected that the board will approve the cuts on February 1.