Grant-Illini teachers offer contract extension to help financially troubled district

Illinois Correspondent

Fairview Heights, IL – Grant-Illini teachers are offering to extend their contract in order to help out the troubled school district’s financial plan.

The members of IFT Local 6600 issued a statement April 11 announcing they will take every action they can to “fight for more opportunities for students and the district’s accountability to the community.”

To that end, the union has offered a contract extension they say will allow for a smooth planning process while ensuring educators are compensated appropriately.

“We know firsthand that our district’s financial future is unclear, possibly unstable, thanks to the inaction and lack of transparency coming from Superintendent [Matt] Stines,” the statement read. “Teachers and paras and parents have spoken out about what is necessary to give our students the education they deserve. It’s time for Superintendent Stines to make that a priority as well.”

Last month, the union called out the district’s leadership for its financial woes as Grant District 110 was designated “in financial difficulty” by the Illinois State Board of Education, (ISBE). That designation requires that district leaders must submit financial plans and may also face a financial oversight panel appointed to put the district back on track.

Local 6600 issued a statement at the time declaring that they have been sounding the alarm about Grant-Illini’s finances for years, calling for the superintendent’s removal and new leadership.

Now they have offered to roll over their contract with a stipend to offset inflation, rather than dive into contract negotiations when the contract expires on June 30. The statement declared that rather than negotiating a new agreement during this “time of uncertainty,” this offer would give the superintendent and leadership team the information needed to offer a complete representation of Grant-Illini’s circumstances to the state.

“We submitted this offer to the board of education in a good-faith effort to assist with this process, and we hope they are agreeable to our proposal,” it stated.

The deadline for Grant-Illini to submit a financial plan to ISBE is April 29.

The Grant-Illini Federation of Teachers, affiliated with the Illinois Federation of Teachers, represents 76 teachers and non-certified staff in District 110.

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