News

Springfield BOE Approves Supt. Contract; Begins Budget Talks

Springfield BOE Approves Supt. Contract; Begins Budget Talks

Jennifer Gill makes the rounds after the board unanimously approved her contract. Photo: Newsradio WTAX

The long search process finally came to an end as the Springfield Board of Education approved a three year, two month contract for Jennifer Gill, Springfield Public Schools’ next superintendent.

Gill’s first day will be May 1, which she says will give her time to get acclimated.

“I’ll have (interim superintendent) Dr. (Robert) Hill with me so that I can really talk to him throughout the process… hear what he’s talking to the board about… use some days to come and really learn and grow along with the staff,” Gill said to reporters after Tuesday’s meeting.

She’ll be paid $195,000 annually, with raises up to the board’s discretion based on performance.

Meanwhile, the district’s fiscal year doesn’t start for several months, but the school board is already starting discussions on how to trim a deficit that, this fiscal year, is running about $2 million.

Interim Superintendent Hill asked board members to think about what type of budget they want to craft this year: one that continues to run a deficit, one that’s balanced, or one that runs a surplus.

The unofficial consensus amongst most board members was that any further cuts can’t affect classroom instruction.

Gill already has ideas — and says further school closures and consolidations might be necessary.

“We can’t rule anything out at this point,” says Gill. “Instead of saying closing, it would be something where we would want to weigh the benefits of what we would do for those students, that they have something better on the other side of that situation.”

Hill says if current spending levels continue into the next fiscal year, the district could face a $4.7 million shortfall. The figures don’t include cost cutting measures that have already been discussed, such as altering the high school schedules.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Eastbound Monroe St. Reduced by Capitol

road construction

Public Works says multiple service valves have broken and they need to be repaired.

in Local

Portions of Chatham Under Boil Order

water

Residents and businesses in the area on West Walnut St. from Route 4 to College might experience low water pressure or no water pressure at all.

in Election 2014, Local

Barr, Regan Agree to Sheriff’s Race Debate on WTAX Oct. 31

sangamon county sheriff

The two candidates have sparred back and forth in recent weeks through press releases and, in some cases, have cancelled other debates due to perceived hostilities.

in Local

State Rep. Raymond Poe Undergoing Stem Cell Transplant

poe

State Representative Rich Brauer, others, say they'll step in while Poe is out.