Friday, April 15, 2011

Worcester teacher layoffs

I see from the EAW newsletter (halfway down page 3) that "the administration plans to lay off 25 elementary teachers, 5 secondary positions, 10 special education positions, 48 special education instructional assistants, 1 math/science instructional assistant, 3 itinerant teachers, 2 ESL accommodation IA's and 5 parent liaisons."
No, I did not know this.
The last information the School Committee was given was an estimate that the budget gap was equal to (but might or might not require) 134 positions being cut. We have been told nothing since.

I think "disappointed" is too weak a word for my thoughts on the administration not informing the financial authority for the school system of layoffs. I think "lack of communication" doesn't being to approach exactly how large a gap this is.

"Outrageous" might come close.

Twice today already I have been approached by people in the system wanting to discuss this. It was simply luck that I'd read the newsletter this morning and so had the slightest clue what they were talking about. This isn't embarrassing for me personally--I read everything I'm sent--but it does rather point up in an obvious fashion a misapprehension, now approaching, I think, a dangerous point of who needs to know what when and who has what authority.

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I should point out, again, that while layoff notices have to go out now, due to the teachers' contract, that NO DECISION on FY12 is made until the School Committee votes on the budget at the end of June. If you have a concern, an opinion, a suggestion, you absolutely should contact the School Committee (and, if you think it's a matter of money, the state legislators and the City Council) regarding the budget.

5 comments:

zed said...

How many administrators can you fire to get the instructors back?

Noah said...

I thought those layoffs were if the School Department employees did not switch to a GIC-like plan.

Jim Gonyea said...

You weren't brought into Executive Session to be told that the layoff notices were going to be generated or what the numbers were going to be? Something is wrong in Worcester.

Tracy Novick said...

Noah, layoffs go out in April due to the teachers' contract. Some may be called back if the budget changes or if the contract/health insurance changes. But it's a callback; the layoffs are actual layoffs.
Jim, no, we were not. I received an email late yesterday from the Superintendent saying that this and other budgetary information was in our Friday packet; those were mailed yesterday and thus with luck I will see it later today. I see from today's paper, however, that even this information is now outdated.
And I entirely agree with you. This is a real problem.

Tracy Novick said...

Oh, and Zed: no specifics on admin yet; I asked.