District 57 will bring back assistant principals whose contracts were terminated

  • The staff at Fairview Elementary School in Mount Prospect decorated the school's windows Wednesday morning to thank voters for supporting District 57's tax-increase referendum in Tuesday's election. Except for building bonds, District 57 voters had not approved a tax increase in 29 years.

      The staff at Fairview Elementary School in Mount Prospect decorated the school's windows Wednesday morning to thank voters for supporting District 57's tax-increase referendum in Tuesday's election. Except for building bonds, District 57 voters had not approved a tax increase in 29 years. Tom Quinlan | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 3/21/2018 3:28 PM

Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 received good news Tuesday night when voters overwhelmingly backed a tax-hike referendum that officials say will prevent drastic cuts in staff and programs.

For two assistant principals, the results likely brought added relief.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Last week, the school board voted to terminate next year's contracts for Fairview and Lions Park Assistant Principals Una Durkan and Danielle Bielenda. In an online message explaining the moves, Superintendent Elaine Aumiller said they were necessary in case the referendum does not pass.

"The board took this action at this time because the contracts will be automatically renewed if they are not acted upon by April 1," Aumiller wrote. "And (last week's) board meeting is the last one before the April 1 deadline."

But with more than 70 percent of district voters supporting Tuesday's referendum, the school board is prepared to vote on new contracts for Durkan and Bielenda in May, she added.

It wasn't the only proactive measure the school district took in advance of the referendum. The board recently approved a staffing plan for next year that included additional cuts that would have been made if the referendum did not pass. In all, the district said it would make $850,000 in cuts to next year's budget if the referendum failed.

With the success of the referendum, district administrators will submit a new staffing plan to the board that calls for no cuts.

The referendum asked voters to authorize an 85-cent increase in the tax rate, to 3.60 per $100 of equalized assessed valuation. That means an additional $238 per year for every $100,000 of home value, according to district estimates.

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