Dist. 308 won't need to increase staff levels

While enrollment numbers are still increasing, for the first time in four years, Community Unit School District 308 will not be spending additional money hiring employees for 2014-15.

The district will be able to hire four full-time equivalent (FTE) positions and one half-time position without incurring additional taxpayer costs, after implementing some strategic cost reductions.

The School District 308 Board of Education approved the staffing plan last week. The plan’s goals also include providing the best learning environment for students in District 308 and continuing to work on balancing class sizes throughout the district. Under the 2014-15 staffing plan, the class sizes presented to the board demonstrate improvement throughout the district.

“This plan offered a very efficient and effective way for the staffing to be accomplished,” Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services John Sparlin said. “This was a collaborative effort to ensure students’ needs are met.”

During the 2013-14 school year, the district spent $1.57 million on hiring 33 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. During the 2012-13 school year, the district spent $2.9 million on 58.5 FTE positions, and in the 2011-12 school year, the district spent $2.6 million on 54.5 positions. “To be able to handle the district’s hiring needs without an added large expenditure translates into savings,” Sparlin said.

The district was able to fund four FTE positions and one half-time position by decreasing overload funding requires. By reducing the number of instances when overloads occur, the district was able to shift savings to pay for the new teacher contracts.

Another benefit stemming from the 2014-15 staffing plan is that there will be one full hour each day for math in the elementary school academically talented program. Previously, academically talented students only received one full hour per week.

 –News Bulletin news sources