ZION, Ill. (AP) — Nearly 50 teachers and staff members have quit or retired from a school district in Lake County before the start of a new year.

The Zion district says the departures are "typical of the ebb-and-flow of a school district." But the union that represents Zion educators says it's been difficult to keep staff because of financial reasons and other factors.

The school year starts Monday. District spokeswoman Donelle Staples tells WBBM-TV that core classrooms will be led by certified teachers.

Retiree Lynn Butera says the culture in the district has become "very toxic." A parent, Tiara Jones, says the resignations are unfortunate.