Mahomet-Seymour approves $700,000 in cuts

Mahomet-Seymour approves $700,000 in cuts

MAHOMET — The mood was somber Monday night as Mahomet-Seymour school board members voted 5-2 to approve a slate of staff and programming cuts aimed at reducing the district's growing budget deficit.

The cuts — which total over $700,000 — include the elimination of five elementary teaching jobs, enrichment programs at Sangamon and Lincoln Trail schools and library assistant positions across the district.

Libraries were hit particularly hard: The latest addition to the slate of cuts was a 50 percent decrease to the library budget in each school. Individual building budgets were also decreased by 3 percent.

At last month's meeting, parents and teachers pleaded with the board to reconsider cuts to library staff and enrichment — programs they said were crucial to their children's educations.

Prior to the vote, several board members indicated that they were uncomfortable with the choice they had to make.

"I have no disagreement" with the need for budget cuts, said Becky Ryherd, one of the board members who ultimately voted no on the measure. "I think where I have trouble is where we're cutting."

Superintendent Keith Oates warned that more belt-tightening would be needed if state funding doesn't return to its previous levels, estimating another possible $800,000 in cuts next year.

Mahomet-Seymour Education Association spokesman Eric Potter said after the meeting that while the association understood why cuts needed to be made and the difficulty of the board's decision, he and his fellow teachers had their fingers crossed for a different outcome.

"Honestly, we were hopeful that they would reconsider some of (the cuts)," he said.

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theSane wrote on March 13, 2012 at 2:03 pm

What happened?  When they handed out the 3.5%/year raises with the last contract, they said there was more than enough money and we would not be laying off staff like this.

Previous stories:

Hatter wrote on March 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm

At least the teachers (the ones still working) get to keep their raises.

dd1961 wrote on March 13, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Where in these stories does it say they had plenty of money?  The strike would have continued if they had not given the teachers something.  Even back then, the expectation was that finances would continue to grow worse.  Last winter they said they have been using the surplus to prevent this from happening, but as what happens with surplus when you do not have enough money coming in, it got drained, and there is not enough going forward.  This is not a new story for any school districts in Illinois.  We are going to continue to see this again and again because of the sad state of fiscal disrepair this state is in.

bluegrass wrote on March 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm

The finances of the state are no doubt in shambles.  I think these layoffs are a case of the Obama stimulus well money that dried up, or at least that is what it looked like from the paperwork that was sent home from the school.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 13, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Where are the administrative salary cuts?  Where are the regional superintent salary cuts?  Why would any young person enter the teaching profession?  Those who do are committed to helping the young.  At some point in time, the idealism will wear off.  Will there still be a need to pay high salaries to administrators when there are no teachers?

dd1961 wrote on March 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Mahomet teachers are fairly well paid. Which is why the district has good educators.


Last week it was Thomasboro cutting bus service, this week it is Mahomet cutting, next week it will be more schools, and more and more.  The districts are going to have to pay the teacher pensions, and to do that, they will have to cut more.  The other solution, raise taxes, again, and again, and again.  

Which only allows our state to spend more and more and more.


goinfast00 wrote on March 13, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Interesting how Mahomets:

(for five schools)

Name: Oates, Keith
Salary: $179,895
Position: District Superintendent
Full/Part Time: FulltimeYears Teaching: 19


Compared to  Urbana :

Name: Williams Jr, Preston
Salary: $163,093
Position: District Superintendent
Full/Part Time: Fulltime
Percent Time Employed: 100%
Assignment: Administration
Years Teaching: 31

Champaign : 

Teacher Details

Name: Culver, Arthur
Salary: $245,000
Position: District Superintendent
Full/Part Time: Fulltime
Percent Time Employed: 100%
Assignment: Administration
Years Teaching: 36
Degree: Master's
School Name: Champaign CUSD 4
District Name: Champaign CUSD 4

METHINKS there are better places to trim the PORK!!!!!!!



dd1961 wrote on March 14, 2012 at 8:03 am

OK, you seem to think that superintendents should get paid what the teachers get paid.  I don't agree, they are in charge of the entire district, it warrents higher pay.  However, if you cut Oates' salary to 100K(yes Mahomet has teachers making that), then the budget still has to be cut 625k.  You might save one teacher or two aides(yes Mahomet teachers and aides do get paid that).  The situation does not change for school districts.  They are being asked to assume more and more of a financial burden with less dollars.  Something has to give.