Staff cuts approved at Decatur school board meeting

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DECATUR- More than a dozen staff reductions were approved at a Decatur Public Schools District 61 board meeting Tuesday night.

School board officials say twenty staff cuts will occur in multiple departments, including teachers, teacher aides, and custodial workers.  Paula Busboom, President of Decatur Federation of Teaching Assistants, said "We're pretty much bare bones in the amount of instructional positions that we have on board."

Officials also say the majority of the cuts will come from middle schools due to Dennis Lab School offering 7th and 8th grade programs.  Administrators say the elimination of these positions is common this time of year, but the main reason behind reduction for this school year is expenditures like the districts health insurance that's costing them a renewal of 900,000 in 2015.

However, school officials and employees are hopeful that an approved Illinois Senate bill will allow these layoffs to develop into re-hires.

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