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By DAVE HINTON
Rantoul Press editor
ROYAL — Prairieview-Ogden school teachers have agreed to accept no pay increase for the 2013-14 school year.
Under the previous agreement, teachers would have received a base salary increase of 3 percent in the fourth year of the teacher contract.
As a result, the board of education agreed to limit the reduction in force (cuts) of no more than three full-time staff members.
Superintendent Vic White said the board had been considering cutting five full-time positions.
The action stems from the district’s strained financial condition.
Finances were among the topics discussed by the PVO school board at its November meeting.
White presented the board with financial data from 31 schools in the Illini Region of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, which is composed of five counties, including Champaign and Vermilion.
The data shows general state aid, corporate personal property replacement tax, overall deficit spending and loss of fund balance reserves.
White, who is the Illini Division director, said the figures will be used for discussion with area legislators and the Illinois State Board of Education regarding the anticipated loss in funding.
White said the impact of state cuts are larger class sizes, fewer course offerings/programs, longer bus rides, the inability to implement new technology or programs, older school buses transporting students, the elimination of extracurricular programs and cuts to faculty and staff.
School districts across the state have absorbed an 11 percent reduction in general state aid during the past two school years and a 42 percent cut in transportation reimbursement over the past three school years.
Twenty-six of the 31 school districts listed in the Illini Region have deficit operating budgets this year, meaning all of them have had to dip into their reserve funds totaling $15.2 million.
In other business, the PVO board approved the hiring of several employees, all effective Jan. 1, including Tabatha Hill as the new janitor for PVO/North Elementary; Darrell Lee as head custodian for the district with a stipend of $2,000; Louise Busboom as morning bus route driver; Tim Frerichs as full-time morning/afternoon bus route driver and head transportation director with a stipend of $2,000; and Jean Palmer as the new Spectrum route driver.
The board approved family medical leave for Jennifer Anderson and 15 additional sick leave days once she has used up all of her sick days.