Budget stalemate leads college looking at faculty layoffs

No one wants to get a letter saying the job they held for the better part of two decades could soon be cut because of Illinois’ budget impasse.

Dozens of faculty members at John A Logan College received letters Monday telling them they could soon be out of a job. For one family, that tough break came not once, but twice.

It’s been a surreal day at the office for Angie Calcaterra. She says she’s in shock after coming home Monday to find a letter telling her the job she’s held at John A Logan College for more than 15 years would likely be cut.

"I’ve been bursting into tears at unexpected moments," said Calcaterra. She’s the coordinator of the deaf and hard of hearing program, as well as an academic adviser at John A Logan College.

Calcaterra says she braced for this, but when she came home yesterday, she found two letters instead of one. "So it didn’t come as a complete surprise when I got mine, but when I saw my husband’s, that was shocking," she said.

It’s not just them. She says she’s been told more than 50 faculty members have been put on notice with letters citing the state’s budget impasse for the cuts. Though the college’s board of trustees will make the final call Wednesday night, students like Allecia Cross say it’s frustrating to see what nine months without a budget is doing to schools.

"When you start to see how many people are being affected, I think it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing and get it together," said Cross.

"I’m just hoping that things will be resolved before the end of June and all of our positions will be saved. That’s what I’m hoping for," Calcaterra said.

She says her family’s future is now pinned on the hope that lawmakers finally pass a budget.

John A Logan’s board of trustees is expected to make a final decision on those position cuts Wednesday night. A closed-door meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m., with a public meeting to follow at 7 p.m. inside the O’Neil Auditorium. 

Responding to the potential cuts facing the college, State Rep. John Bradley said, "It is unconscionable to me that funds are not being released, despite the legislature’s votes to send the money where it rightfully belongs, which is to our students and to our schools."

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