East Moline School District votes to eliminate 20 teaching positions

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EAST MOLINE, Illinois - The East Moline School board voted to eliminate 20 teaching positions. It's the first time the district has moved to lay off teachers in more than a decade.

On the list released, nine elementary school teachers, three science teachers, four language arts teachers, one math teacher, one social studies teacher, one music teacher and one English as a second language teacher.

The cuts come weeks after the school district and teacher's union agreed to a new contract. Superintendent Kristin Humphries says the district cannot afford to give teachers raises without making cuts. He blames the state of Illinois.

"If we were not to make these cuts now and we had school starting in the fall with all of these individuals coming back and the state were not to fund us, we wouldn`t have a way to pay some of these folks," said Humphries.

Parents and teachers stood before the board asking for another solution.

"I am concerned that this board is acting in haste, decisions are being made based on dollar signs and bottom lines rather than on the welfare of this districts children," said Tasha Schillenger.

Humphries says there's was nothing else the district could have cut, "We`ve cut through copier contracts, we`ve cut through not replacing some of our great retirees and unfortunately right now with the state we`ve got no state payments this year," said Humphries.

The cuts may not be the final word. Superintendent Humphries says if the state is able to pass a budget the district will offer those positions to the teachers who were cut.

However, Humphries plan to propose more cuts next month, many of those jobs could be hourly positions like teachers aids.