Cahokia's state caliber track program (and other sports and activites) are in serious jeapordy of being dropped next year.(loku photo). Employees are getting fired, students are losing their sports and activites yet teachers and staff who are keeping their jobs are given preferential treatment and given pay raises.
The Cahokia school district is budgeted to lose 5 million dollars. That's huge for a budget of about $40 million. So the Cahokia school board decided to lay off 52 teachers, 31 other positions, and 40 coaching positions. In addition, the school board may decide to cut all sports and extra curricular activites next year.
Yet despite the budget troubles, Cahokia managed to find a way to give salary increases to teachers and staff for the NEXT THREE YEARS. In other words, teachers are getting laid off, sports are being cut (golf and tennis was cut last year), coaches are being fired, and the schools is in a major budget deficit yet the teachers and staff are getting pay increases. Employees are getting fired, students are losing their sports and activites yet teachers and staff who are keeping their jobs are given preferential treatment and given pay raises. It's not like Cahokia teachers are underpaid. Cahokia teachers are being paid more than the state average. K-3 teacher Kim Bathon was paid $85,172 last year to teach K-3 elementary school teachers. Deborah Mernick was paid $84,529 last year to teach special education. I'm sure Ms. Bathon and Ms. Mernick are really good teachers. But in this harsch economic situation that Cahokia is in, can they really afford to pay $84,529 for a K-3 teacher?
DOES SOMEONE BESIDES ME SEE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?!
This situation seems earily similar to what is happening in the CPS just in a much smaller scale. The CPS has a much bigger budget deficit, the CPS recently decided to close schools, and the CPS decided to give it's teachers a MUCH bigger pay raise. But guess what will also be bigger? In the next few years (or much sooner), when the CPS will see much bigger financial stress than they see now, the cuts to coaching jobs sports programs, and acitivites will be much bigger.