It's 9:30-ish on Monday night and we're in the satellite truck working on our 10pm story. We're in Bethalto where the school board voted tonight for massive lay-offs. Fifty-four teachers will be let go. That's about one-quarter of the district's teachers. Several programs were cut as well. It was an emotional and frustrating night for many people. Those who came to the board meeting tonight are here because they want the best for their kids.
The school board would love to have more money. It would love to have top-flight equipment, top-notch instructors and state-of-the-art electronics. But the board says the reality is the money is not coming from the state. One board member said that, basically, our hands are tied.
We spoke with the school board president before the meeting. There were several young people out on the sidewalk with signs They were chanting "save our teachers." The board president said her granddaughters were among the group there to support the teachers. The same teachers that their grandmother was, unfortunately, about to vote to lay off.
But the fight's not done. The board was recruiting parents at tonight's meeting to go to Springfield on April 21st to lobby lawmakers to release money to the schools.