Almost 50 teachers and staffers in Zion Elementary District 6 in Lake County walked away right before the school year started.
According to a WREX report, school officials describe the changes as “typical of the ebb-and-flow of a school district,” but Lynn Butera, one of those who recently retired, joins union leaders in pointing to factors such as morale and finances that caused employees to quit.
Before the new school year starting on Aug. 26, school officials assured parents in the district that core classrooms would be properly staffed and led by certified teachers.
All the uncertainty came about despite a recent Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) study finding that Illinois now spends the most in the Midwest per student on education.
But with more than 9,000 administrators earning at least six figures and on schedule to pocket even more in pension benefits upon retirement, much of those funds have been diverted from the classroom to what critics deem system bureaucracy. Overall, Illinois is home to the fifth-largest number of school districts in the nation, though with the exception of Chicago Public Schools, districts across the state serve only half the average number of students in schools across the U.S.
“For students to receive a quality education, more resources need to reach schools rather than the administrative bodies overseeing them,” IPI concluded. “To help ensure teachers and students have the resources they need, Springfield should empower local communities to consolidate costly and redundant school districts.”