(KMOV) -- Four Metro-East school districts might be cutting a lot of jobs on Monday. Teaching jobs in Dupo, Edwardsville, Highland and Bethalto are on the line.
The Illinois state budget crisis is having a major impact on schools trying to figure out just how much state funding they could lose in the next school year. Edwardsville's District 7 is preparing to do without $3 million, so tonight the school board will consider laying off 25 teachers, reassigning or laying off seven administrators, and letting a few support staffers go.
It's been an ugly couple of weeks for Illinois school systems: 48 layoffs in Alton schools and 43 announced in Belleville last week. Taxpayers say education is one of the last things that should be cut, but this is the situation the state has put schools in.
The district knew this day was coming, so leaders have been preparing for it since December. While the school board president said he wishes no positions had to be cut, the way it's being handled should have a minimal impact on the classroom.
In Bethalto, Ill., the school board is considering letting go as many as 54 non-tenured teachers along with nine support staff members. The district is also looking into cutting several programs.
The school board held a closed session meeting on Monday. The school board president said making the cuts will not be easy. "It is painful. I think what a lot of people don't understand is these are our friends," said Sharon Rothe. "These people are our neighbors, and so for us to come in and make a life-changing decision in their lives...it's hard, it's hard."
The district is also looking at cutting art, music and computer classes in the middle school along with its early childhood education. Most of the layoffs would come at the high school level where 19 cuts are being considered.
The district has to make up for a $2.4 million shortfall with these cuts.
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