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Kaneland cuts 11 teacher aide jobs

MAPLE PARK – When classes resume in the fall, teachers in elementary schools in Elburn and Sugar Grove will have fewer assistants.

On Monday, the Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 Board of Education voted to eliminate 11 teacher assistant positions in the district.

The move would shave about $300,000 from the district's payroll for the 2009-10 school year, said Jeff Schuler, Kaneland's assistant superintendent for human resources.

"It is unfortunate that this action had to be taken," Schuler said. "But it gets us to the budget number we were seeking to achieve when we began this process."

The staff cuts were part of a plan crafted by Kaneland administrators to cut about $1.5 million from the district's budget for next school year.

Last month, the school board approved the first phase of the payroll-cutting plan, eliminating eight teaching positions at the district's elementary schools. That move will save the district about $400,000, Schuler said.

In all, however, the district needed to reduce its payroll by another $300,000 to achieve its budget goals, Schuler said.

So, as part of its plan, administrators had also asked the school board to eliminate 11 teacher assistant positions – eight full-time positions and three part-time.

Schuler said the cuts were not as deep as administrators had originally feared, as some teacher assistants had submitted their resignations before the board action.

Schuler said administrators had initially targeted 14 positions for elimination.

The teacher assistants, who are not represented by the Kaneland Education Association teachers union, were notified of the likely board action the week of March 23 and will be notified of the board's decision by mail this week, Schuler said.

The board's action now concludes staff reductions within the district, Schuler said.

"There will be no more cuts for the next school year," Schuler said.

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