Illinois school district parents say teachers and bus driver shortages are hurting students – KION546

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By Marybel Gonzalez

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MAYWOOD, Ill. (WBBM) — A school board meeting grew tense in Maywood on Tuesday night as disgruntled parents confronted the Proviso Township School District over classroom conditions.

As CBS 2’s Marybel González reported, frustrated parents took to the podium at Proviso East High School after nearly two weeks of dealing with what they call teacher and bus driver shortages. . They say they didn’t get any answers, so they showed up to ask their questions directly to the council.

The school district is made up of Proviso East High School in Maywood, Proviso West High School in Hillside, and Proviso Mathematics & Science Academy in Forest Park.

Frustrated mother Trena Ellis filmed students she said were crammed into a cafeteria on the first day of school in Proviso West due to teacher shortages.

“Now they tell the kids, ‘Go to class – even if they don’t have a teacher, go to class and sit down,'” Ellis said. “You’re looking for trouble when you do things like that.”

Ellis was among parents and educators who brought their shared concerns to the school board on Tuesday night — and tensions were running high.

Parents like Jenny Barbahen said shortages left students unsupervised during school hours – including her son.

“My student didn’t have a full schedule. He was not scheduled for an eighth period. So he kind of just left the building,” she said. “He was missing because there was nowhere to go.”

District teachers also shared the same concern.

“So what do we do?” said Carissa Gillespie, a teacher from Proviso West. “Do we educate or do we baby-sit?

Gillespie said the conditions were caused by a mass resignation following a strike last year.

“A lot of our teachers have gone to other surrounding districts and even taken pay cuts – not because of the students; we love our students – because of the lack of respect and the lack of educational structure,” she said.

Meanwhile, other parents say the district is not just understaffed inside the classrooms, but also outside – including on school buses, where they say there are no not enough drivers.

“I have to go to work every day, but I can’t go to work when I’m trying to get the kids to school,” said Yolanda Davis, grandparent of Proviso West. “I pay for Uber every day.”

The council heard concerns on Tuesday night from a long list of parents who signed up for public comment – ​​but as of 10 p.m. had not responded to parents’ questions or our requests for comment.

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