Dunlap School board votes to cut 17 teaching and staff positions

By Ashley McNamee

Dunlap School board votes to cut 17 teaching and staff positions

March 19, 2014 Updated Mar 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM CDT

DUNLAP, Ill -- The Dunlap School board has voted to remove 17-full time positions from the district in an attempt to fix its budget deficit.

In a five to two vote, board members approved the proposal late Wednesday night.

The district faces a $2.1 million deficit.

School board members say declining property values and increased student enrollment is the problem.

Those against cutting the teachers say they district knew there was a problem and it hired expensive administrators, new teachers and continued with expensive building projects.

"You hired people last June or July. You took them away from school districts where they may have had 10 years because this was the place to be. And now, you're telling those teachers goodbye," said Kandi Amundsen. "Why did you hire them in the first place?"

"It's too late at this point to point fingers and place blame. As sad as it makes me that teachers will be losing their jobs, I know the district has to balance the budget," said Missy Utley.

Another issue expressed at the meeting is how the teachers are being let go.

They have been dismissed which often implies a performance issue.

The district could have done a reduction in force allowing those affected to receive unemployment and the first shot at a position if one re-opens.