Mahomet-Seymour schools looking to make big budget cuts

The Mahomet-Seymour School Board on Tuesday night will begin the process of cutting nearly $700,000 from the school district's budget.

By the end of this school year, the district says its education fund deficit will reach over $1 million.  That's due to a lack of funding and grants from the state, slow growth in property values and rising expenses.

In order to trim the budget, the school board will consider eliminating several positions, including library assistants and grade school teachers.  The district would also reduce the staff development budget by $50,000, among other items.

District Superintendent Keith Oates admits that the budget shortfall is a difficult situation for everyone.  But he says the district is trying to make cuts while minimizing the harm to students.



Oates stresses that the proposed cuts are in the early stages, and much discussion will be needed before a plan is finalized.  He says the last time the district made large cuts like the ones proposed now was in 2004.

The Mahomet-Seymour School Board will discuss the matter at its meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Middletown Early Childhood Center in Mahomet.

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Love until it Hurts then Lo... wrote on February 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Budget Cuts, that term makes me what to scream.  Let’s replace that with those that are overpaid keep their standard of living while those that are in the trenches scrap and claw each other trying to keep their jobs.  Mahomet recently just had their superintendent position become available.  In addition, I heard the job posted the salary at $180,000 a year.  This article has stated that the district is going to cut $700,000 from their budget.  Doing this they are going to let hard working members of the school district go.  I just have a few comments on how to attain this $700,000 goal without laying a single person off.  Therefore, here we go.  (http://www.familytaxpayers.org/salary.php - great website to check out comparing salaries to other superintendents and other offices, like the governor of Illinois)


First, let’s start with the superintendent position.  How about this, combine this positions duties to those already employed with the district.  Then, appoint someone to be the “face” of the district and handle the political aspect of the position.  Just like the corporate world does when layoffs occur, those still employed pick up the slack, that position vanishes, and the company saves on the salary of that old position.  Does it stink, yes, but in this case, the superintendent left on their own accord and no one lost their job.  Money saved $180,000 (how many teachers keep their jobs by those picking up extra work?)


Second, pension costs.  I think a big drain on society is the pension system.  I think big revamping needs to be done here.  I am not sure what the laws and regulations are, but if the school district can set their own guidelines, I would suggest doing something like this.  For teachers that are making between $0.00 and $50,000, nothing will change on how the current pension system is run.  For those making between $50,001 and $80,000, the way the pension will work is like a corporate 401(k).  Employees will receive a match on the amount of contributions contributed by the employee.  This can be changed however you want, but a simple structure would be if the employee puts in 6%, the school district will put in 3%.  For those that wish to not participate in this plan, the school district will automatically contribute 1% to the plan for each employee.  Therefore, in the end, if you participate in the plan, you will receive a 4% match of your contribution each pay period.  Those making greater than $80,001, will no longer receive monies from the school district and they can invest however they see fit.  They can contribute to the district’s plan, but the employee making over this threshold will not receive a match from the district, not even the 1%.  (Not sure if going to this method will decrease Retirement funds given to the teacher, but this is a good starting point of transitioning the pension system into the teacher’s hands.  Also, will relieve some of the burden from the state knowing that they are not accountable for everything, especially those making mega bucks.  Just click on the link above and you can see how much teachers are being paid)


Third, no employee of the Mahomet School District will make over $100,000.  With this rule comes the risk of just jacking all those administrators’ salaries at the $100,000 line.  If this is done, again, the members of the community would need to monitor the salaries of all employees of the district.  If you are paying property taxes in Mahomet, then you should be active all aspects of the education system.


Fourth, implement a true evaluation scale for all teachers.  Students, parents, and teachers themselves know the “bad” teachers from the “good” teachers.  It is time we clean up public education and put those “bad” teachers to the test.  There is no reason why those that are not keeping up with par are still with job.  It will be tough, but something has to be done.  I don’t like hearing other teachers saying that they only have 2 more years left before so and so retires.  It should never be like that.  If they are not doing a good job, then it will be time for a change.


I am open to new ideas, and I believe it is healthy that the Mahomet community takes a more vested interest in the education of our youth.  It is time to stand up and end the mental state of believing that it is up to the teachers to educate our children.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Parents, it is time to take an interest in your child’s education and be hands on.  Work with the teachers, partner up and you will see how far your child will go.


God Bless, and let’s hope real discussions will take place going forward on how to better the financial condition of our district without it being a CASH COW for those at the top.