Some District Jobs Spared

By: Laura Gibbs
By: Laura Gibbs

The State of Illinois is saving jobs in the Rockford Public School District. The number was supposed to be 42 but instead the district will give RIF notices to 18 people which boils down to five support personnel and 13 paraprofessionals.

For the most part almost all of the library paraprofessionals were saved. It's a move compliments of the State of Illinois. On Friday the district learned that they will be getting $170 per pupil and that adds up to an extra $4 million for the district.

Library paraprofessionals were positions funded by a federal grant now the district will put $1 million into the education fund to afford to keep 24 paraprofessionals.

Kathy Swanson, Union President says, "I'm really happy to see that but it'll be a fight again next year because it's like we've got this money and we can save them for a year. We got to watch what happens next year."

Dr. Dennis Thompson states, "It's not that I agree with it, I understand it. I think we had a plan to accomplish it in a different way. I fully understand the boards concern with doing that. The task is essential. My concern was how we accomplish it. We'll take another look at it next year to see how funding looks."

Swanson plans to fight for the 13 let go. Swanson says their contract states that the district had to notify them 30 days before the end of school. That would have been May 2.

On the financial front, Dr. Thompson says the district should be off the financial watch list and be on the warning list next year. That list is the lesser of the two evils.

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