Late last spring Rockford's public schools laid off 186 union custodians and replaced them with a private maintenance company, in hopes to save around $3.5 million. According to the Rockford Register Star, the schools are now receiving complaints due to unkempt buildings, unshoveled sidewalks and maintenance issues.

It is reported that in an effort to create a clean environment for students, teachers have started vacuuming their own classrooms, but little has been done to care for "dirty and smelly" bathrooms.

Union officials have pushed for the district to bring back some trained custodians and recommend that it would be beneficial to have trained professionals on hand during the day.

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