Annual teacher layoffs unanimously approved by District 150 school board

By Marshanna Hester

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 9, 2013 at 10:38 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Sixty full-time teachers will no longer have a job with District 150 come next school year.

Per state law, the district has to make these cuts 45 days before the end of the school year.

It's called "honorable dismissal" based upon a reduction in workforce. It's a way for the district to plan for next year's budget without knowing how much state aid it will receive.

Monday night, the District 150 board unanimously approved the honorable dismissal of 26 tenured teachers. An additional 34 non-tenured teachers were laid off solely based on performance in their first four years.

Teacher's Union President Bob Darling said it's a yearly anxiety for teachers, but one that is affecting less than in years past.

Some community members feel the new performance-based evaluation is bullying, but Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan disagrees.

"Now there are multiple times a principal must meet in a classroom, not only for informal observations, but formal observations," she said. "So you know when I'm coming into your classroom and we've formalized that you have that notification. There's a planning process. There's a time for teachers and principals to sit down and discuss that so the facts are being presented."

Lathan said it is possible some teachers will be re-hired for next school year. Fellow teachers and board members say if that's the case, they hope it's done sooner than later.

Also, there wasn't much controversy with the process this year as last year.

Lathan said affected teachers were notified by email and letter in the last week of March so they weren't caught off guard.