Cahokia Closes Schools To Save Jobs

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CAHOKIA, IL (KTVI)-- The Cahokia School District #187 says it has been dealing with budget cuts for years and they are just hoping to maintain what they currently have.

Officials say it`s been a constant game of hurry up and wait. Superintendent Art Ryan tells FOX 2 that 90 teachers were laid off in April. Last week the school board decided to close 3 additional campuses to consolidate.

Ryan says decreased state funding, reduced enrollment and a drop in property values caused the change.

The district currently has a $60 million budget and close to 50 percent comes from the state.

They hope Illinois Governor Pat Quinn stays with current funding numbers.

"If in a worse -case scenario things go south and he decides were going change the 89 percent to something else. We may have to come back and say were not going have art music and physical education. That`s why we have not recalled anyone yet," said Ryan.

Cahokia Federation of Teachers representative Leslie Harder says the constant delay in approvals puts a strain on families.

"Every year people have to plan to get laid-off because we don't have a budget because the state has not given us a budget, it`s a big interruption to people's lives," said Harder.

The Jerome Childhood Center, Freshman Academy and a portion of the School of Choice will close.

$1.5 million was cut to save jobs arts, physical education and sports programs. If the budget stays the same the number of teaching jobs lost could drop from 90 to 20.

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