Quincy Public Schools avoid key layoffs

March has traditionally been a time of unrest for the Quincy Public School faculty, but things are calmer this year.

Financial sacrifices over the past few years are paying dividends this year.

In past years, teachers would wear pink shirts to mark a frightening time of year. These shirts represented possible bad news: pink slips. But this year, those shirts can remain in their closets.

March 1st is the deadline that scares teachers all around the district. It is the day they find out whether they can keep their job another year.

Due to low funding in the Quincy Public School District, many teachers are laid off for the summer, and may be rehired in the fall.

"Frequently in the past few years it was really really not a fun date when you're at school and you see those teachers worried if they are going to be notified by the principal, etcetera," Stephanie Erwin, QPS finance committee chairwoman said.

This year, there was a sigh of relief.

While 16 people were let go, full time teachers were not affected.

"It's just a combination of things that work of hard work we have done in the past. Painful things we had to do in previous years that were able to get us to this point where were not having to do those major reductions," QPS interim superintendent Joel Murphy said.

Another factor easing the tension is the high number of people retiring or resigning.

"It's a positive thing this is really nice that the people retiring kind of will help make up and help us financially as far as any reductions," Erwin said.

Despite this sign of progress, the future isn't all bright.

"We did learn that in 2014 Illinois may reduce our funding by a million dollars. So going into next school year we are already trying to think about that because if they don't come through, all of these steps that we are taking with the retirements and reorganization is helping that deficit if they don't pay us the million dollars they are supposed to," Erwin said.

They hope to consolidate positions around the district.

Hiring teachers to replace retiring staff at a lower cost could help save money in the long run.

"We should know here pretty much by the end of the school year what positions we are going to be looking to replace and which ones we wont be able to replace but right now we are still working through that process," Murphy said.

The school district has a meeting on Wednesday to approve this years cuts.