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CHTU Update - Lay-Offs 4.11.17

Dear Colleagues,
Yesterday, administration cut 13 Teaching positions resulting in the lay off of 9 people (retirements, resignations, and transfers helped reduce the number of people affected).  They also reduced 7 monitor positions affecting 6 people.  5 of the teacher positions and 1 monitor position were cut because our district will not be servicing Bellefaire school.

Elementaries will be adding staff.  The Middle Schools are losing 2 English positions and 1 Spanish position.  The High School is losing positions in Math, English, Science, and 2 in Social Studies.
Three elementary schools will lose monitor positions along with the Delisle Center, Bellefaire, 1 at the combined middle school and 1 at the high school.

Administration uses numbers to look at projected enrollments and class sizes to justify their continued cuts to our membership.  They cite decreased enrollment and wanting to be good stewards of community monies.

Are we so bloated that we can absorb losing 70 positions in just 2 years?  The vast majority of members seemed to have reasonable class sizes this year.  There were some exceptions that we know about, especially at Rox Middle and a few elementary classrooms across the district.  It seems to me that by continually cutting staff that we lose the ability to recruit people into areas where we have openings.  Who will want to risk being the low person on the totem pole in a district that does not keep their newer employees?  Are our members going to seriously look at job openings elsewhere knowing that a layer of less senior colleagues was cut?

I am also very concerned about the safety of our students and staffs with the elimination of 7 security positions.  It took us so long to get monitors at our elementary schools, eliminating some is a real step backwards.  I already believe middle and high schools were working with a bare bones crew.  How will 5 security monitors patrol the combined middle schools?  How will our high school monitors begin to effectively patrol the new building?  This move is short-sighted and dangerous.

It is tough to be upbeat when we are losing valued and needed colleagues.

What can we do?
One thing to consider is helping out with the Heights Coalition's Educational Listening Project.  Our community group is organizing around getting feedback from families of PreK-8 charter school students who live in our district.  Each volunteer will take 3-10 families and deliver a postcard to their house to try to engage in conversation.  We are trying a three-pronged approach.  Some families may only be willing to do a quick online survey.  Others may be willing to meet to talk with a volunteer.  Lastly, families might attend one of two events we have set up for May 4 and May 6 to interview with a volunteer at a library.  Currently 355 students in our district attend charter schools resulting in an annual loss of over $2 million to our district.  Imagine how different staffing would look if even half that number were attending our schools?  Look for information coming out soon on how to sign up.

In Union,
Ari Klein
CHTU President


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