Press Release

CANTON – The Canton Education Association (CEA) will attend the Canton Unit School District 66 school board meeting tonight to urge the board to reconsider reductions in force (RIFs) that would leave nearly 30 educators without a job. CEA is asking for continued transparency in the process and for the RIFs to be evaluated once there is clarity about what the 2020-21 school year will look like and about the impact of COVID-19 on the district’s finances.

“Every single one of our education support staff contributes to students’ success. We are Canton. On average, each and every one of us has more than a decade of experience in our school district,” CEA Co-President Amy Evans said. “We do these jobs because we love our students and we care about their success and the success of our community. Without talented staff, our students run the risk of not having access to the best public education possible. I sincerely hope we all can continue to work with the students we know and love this fall.”

District 66 has proposed RIFs for 17 reading aides and 9 school bus aides due to uncertainty surrounding school finances this fall. The RIF process allows positions to be recalled, or reinstated, in order of seniority.

“This is an extremely difficult time for everyone. We appreciate the district’s efforts to keep us informed of the decision-making process,” Evans said. “We know the COVID-19 crisis has created a lot of uncertainty and a lot of unknowns, especially around our finances and when it comes to how our schools will operate this fall. However, we want these positions to be recalled back as quickly as possible. We believe it’s paramount to student success.”

The Canton Education Association has 326 members. Of those, 150 are education support staff, which includes secretaries, paraprofessionals, reading aides, bus drivers, bus monitors, clerks, maintenance workers and custodians. The Canton Unit School District 66 serves 2,413 students across five schools.

Tonight CEA will be attending the virtual board meeting and will have a representative read a statement. Tonight’s board meeting will be held broadcast on the Canton Unit School District Facebook.

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The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.