GLENWOOD | The Brookwood Elementary District 167 School Board voted to rehire 12 of the 19 employees it cut in March in a special meeting Wednesday.
The reversal comes after the district rearranged its finances to make room for the teachers and staff. The reduced faculty have never actually left the district, as contracts were to be honored through June.
Business Manager Andrew Ziegler presented an early draft of the budget for the 2014-2015 school year at the board's May 12 meeting which included adjustments to the leases on the district's printers and allotments for supplies and miscellaneous needs. Ziegler said the changes could allow for the retaining of 12.5 of the 19.5 staffers who were reduced in March while running the district a $160,000 deficit.
A vote on retaining those employees was tabled during that May 12 meeting, however, because some board members said they hadn't had enough time to consider the details.
The district is expected to run growing deficits over each of the next five years, due in part to its dependence on state aid. Brookwood 167 gets about one-third of its funding from Springfield, bringing in only about 50 percent from real estate taxes.
Bloom Township School Treasurer Robert Grossi told the board in February that 2012 and 2013 were two of the worst years the district has ever had, financially, but that it was in better shape than many in the area because of its healthy fund balances.
Superintendent Valorie Moore said at the May 12 meeting that some teachers would be involuntarily transferred within the district to make room for the 12 teachers being brought back and fill needs. Those transfers were also approved Wednesday.
"(The transfers) will have a domino effect, and a positive one, because we're bringing people back," Moore said. "We're trying to put everyone in their areas of strength."
Moore said Thursday the district is working on finalizing schedules for the teachers who will remain with Brookwood 167, but she couldn't provide any more details.