Peoria Public Schools gets to work before fall - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Peoria Public Schools gets to work before fall

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Among the issues the school board is looking to address this year, the ongoing teacher shortage which means larger class sizes for your child.

Peoria Schools has approved $50,000 to hopefully tackle that problem.

A unanimous yes vote at the Peoria Public School Meeting gives the green-light to a new recruitment strategy. 

The district will now offer a $1,500 signing bonus to incoming teachers.

They're also starting a referral program for existing teachers, offering a $150 bonus if the person you refer accepts a job and stays for a full year. 

But the Peoria Federation of Teachers Union said the move is merely a bandaid for the problem. 

"Extremely high stress levels, you know you're dealing with in  some instances crowded classrooms, discipline is not under control. The workload for teachers right now is just stunning," said Jeff Adkins-Dutro, the president of the teacher union.

Another shake up for the district involves the elite program.

After three years of being at Harrison Primary School, Elite is moving to Manual 7th and 8th grade Academy in the fall.

That's in addition to the existing program at Lincoln Middle School.

"They all deal with factors, poverty, geography, dysfunction. So, we address those issues and establish relationships with the kids and then those relationships were able to move them off a negative into a positive," said Carl Cannon, the Elite Director.

The Elite program cost a total of $244,000.

But the district only pays $22,000 the rest is funded by Title 1.

As for why Elite is leaving Harrison, it's actually a good sign.

Carl Cannon said he feels the kids there are on the right track, so they're going to focus on reaching new students.

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