Danville school board OKs assistant principal, "RIFs" six employees

Danville school board OKs assistant principal, "RIFs" six employees

DANVILLE — A familiar face will return to North Ridge Middle School next school year.

At a special meeting on Wednesday, Danville school board members approved appointing Angelique Simon as the school's new assistant principal.

Simon will start the job on July 1 and earn an annual salary of $74,578 plus benefits. She will replace Kimberly Norton, who recently was appointed principal at Northeast Elementary Magnet School.

Simon held the same post at North Ridge from 2009 to 2012. She took a leave of absence during the current school year to work on an advanced degree in education.

Simon also taught fourth grade for two years at Northeast and then two years at Meade Park Elementary School. She served as an administrative intern at South View Middle School from 2008-2009, before taking the administrative post.

Before coming to Danville, she served as a family coordinator for Project Success and then taught at Barkstall Elementary School in Champaign.

Also at the meeting, board members approved the honorable dismissals of six employees through a reduction-in-force.

They include three teachers, one part-time teacher and two school administration managers — one each at North Ridge and South View middle schools. Officials determined which teachers would be laid off using a new reduction-in-force system that considers job performance, seniority and position.

By law, the district must notify any faculty or staff member whose position will be eliminated the next year in writing at least 45 days before the end of the current school year.

"We're not happy we have to make these reductions," board President Bill Dobbles said, echoing the sentiments of Superintendent Mark Denman. "These are necessary. There's not very many ways to make cuts to balance our budget when 70 percent is personnel costs other than to make staff reductions.

Last week, the board approved eliminating two dozen positions — including 22 teaching positions and a school administration manager — and making another $1 million in non-personnel cuts to save the district nearly $3 million in the upcoming fiscal year. Most of the positions will be eliminated through attrition.

Officials said the cuts are necessary to help offset a decrease in property tax revenue, projected decreases in state funding as well as uncertainty over pensions, insurance and the effect of sequestration.

The district is anticipating a $2.4 million deficit at the end of the current fiscal year, due to a drop in state and local revenues, and it expects more drastic reductions in state funding next year. Based on the state's plan for education funding, local officials are projecting an 18 percent reduction in general state aid next year — which translates to about a $5.3 million loss — and an 81 percent reduction in transportation funding — roughly a $1.2 million loss.

Without the cuts, officials said, the district's reserves, which are expected to drop from $20 million to $17 million by July 1, could decrease even more — possibly to $12 million or $13 million — the next year. Only a portion of those reserves can be used to pay salaries and other daily operational expenses, while the rest are restricted funds.