Hour cuts proposed for Ring Lardner music teachers

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Due to the anticipation of a large change in enrollment, Ring Lardner Middle School will be forced to cut four teaching positions next year, said school officials.
Niles Superintendent Doug Law will be meeting with the board next week and they should make the final decisions on cuts by the end of March.
To eliminate one of the positions, two of Ring Lardner's music teachers' time will be cut in half.
The proposal calls for the teachers to split their time between Ring Lardner and one of the Niles elementary schools.
Law said, anticipating negative public reaction, he wants to make it clear no choir or band programs will be cut.
Law said some teachers have expressed concerns that the move could effect after-school music activities.
Law also made it clear that these cuts are not a budget issue.
Next year, the school is projecting a loss of 75 to 100 students. This decrease in enrollment has caused the school to make a decision to cut the four teaching positions, he said.
Law said the middle school has been experiencing a "bubble of enrollment," in which a few very large groups of seventh and eighth graders have been passing through Ring Lardner.
The school currently has about 700 students and Law said it is projected that enrollment will be down to around 550 students in three years.
This "bubble of enrollment" is expected to cause the high school to add a few positions in the future.
When considering the other cuts to be made at Ring Lardner, Law said it is their goal to not cut any of the core subject teachers.
Core subjects include English, math and science.

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