Niles school board cuts 4 positions

Staff report


The decision by the board of education to eliminate the positions of one elementary school principal and three administrative assistants at the end of the current school year will save the school district more than $210,000 annually, Superintendent Ann Marie Thigpen said.

The board’s decision followed release of a state audit earlier this month that found the district could save nearly $3.4 million by eliminating 18 positions, many of them teachers, and reducing health and vision insurance costs.

Thigpen said despite the elimination of the principal position at Niles Primary School, “there will still be a principal there through reorganization.”

The superintendent said the current elementary principal could return to a teaching position, “but none are open at this time.”

Thigpen said the three administrative assistants “have bumping rights,” meaning they could claim other positions.

Those who do lose their jobs because of reduction-in-staff are placed on a recall list for two years as required by the district’s contract with their union, AFSCME Local 4.

There could be considerably more jobs lost if voters reject a 5.85-mill emergency levy on the May 8 primary-election ballot.

Should that happen, Thigpen has warned cuts in teachers and a number of elementary-school programs are inevitable.

If approved, the levy would generate $1.3 million.

Last November, a considerably higher emergency levy of 9.25 mills was rejected by 70 percent of voters.

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