By Betty Adams firstname.lastname@example.org
WALES — Nine teaching jobs will be cut if the proposed $17.7 million budget is adopted in Regional School Unit 4 — Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales — and each town will be billed more to support that budget.
RSU 4 MEETINGS
Budget informational meetings are set for these sites:
• 6:30 p.m. May 29 at Carrie Ricker School, Litchfield
• 6:30 p.m. May 30 at Oak Hill Middle School, Sabattus
• 6:30 p.m. June 4 at Oak Hill High School, Wales
The budget will be presented at three informational meetings — one in each town — and then be subject to a June 5 districtwide vote and a June 11 referendum at the polls in each town.
The school board voted April 24 to adopt the budget, which is 0.85 percent, or $150,000, greater than the current budget.
Scott Eldridge, the district’s business manager, said that part of the increase is an anticipated $220,000 contribution to the teachers’ pension fund, which historically has been paid by the state.
If the budget passes, Litchfield residents who own property assessed at $150,000 will pay almost $149 more annually to support the budget. In Sabattus, that same homeowner would pay $245 more, and in Wales, the bill would be almost $217 more.
Among the staff members whose jobs would be eliminated are two Spanish teachers, one each at Oak HiIl middle and high schools; a Project Reach teacher at the middle school; English, language arts, mathematics and social studies teachers at the high school; a fifth-grade teacher at Carrie Ricker School; and a teacher at Libby-Tozier Elementary School.
The high school would continue to offer French and Latin.
Eldridge said the board chose to reinstate $18,000 for seventh-grade sports as well as a teaching post in the intervention program at the high school. The administration had proposed cutting those items.
Reductions in the teaching staff also would result in increased class sizes at Carrie Ricker, Libby-Tozier and Oak Hill High schools, according to Superintendent James Hodgkin.
“Counting the cuts that we have proposed this year, RSU 4 has had to cut over 30 teaching positions, support staff and administration over the past four years,” Hodgkin said in a message to residents. “While it may be hard to think about future budgets, there is very good reason for the RSU to feel optimistic about funding in the future. Things have a tendency to go in trends, and the factors that affect school funding appear to be in our favor in future years. Somehow, we need to find a way to get through this budget cycle without causing too much damage to our schools.”
The schools have a total enrollment of 1,431. Eleven other students are placed outside the district.
Eldridge said the district previously used carryover balances to keep tax rates down. Last year almost $400,000 was carried over, but this year “there’s no money left in the carryover,” he said.
The largest expenses in the proposed budget are almost $6.4 million for regular instruction, $3 million for special education and $2.1 million for facilities maintenance.
Betty Adams — 621-5631
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Recognising that the last effort on this subject (SN, April 26) may not have fully satisfied expectations, I sincerely hope that the accompanying table will put in clearer perspective the substantial differentiation between the sample of ‘public service’ jobs and those in the teaching hierarchy in the education system.
It is hoped that stakeholders ‒ institutions and individuals alike ‒ will recognise the inequitabilities inherent in the comparative analysis.
E B John
Thanks to an additional $385,000 from the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation, the Manhattan Beach Unified School District is able to shorten its potential teacher layoffs for the 2013-2014 academic year to five.
MBEF Nina Patel announced the additional funds at last night’s school district board meeting, raising MBEF’s previously announced $5 million grant to $5,385,000.
The extra funds are being specifically used to save teaching positions and maintain small class sizes, said Susan Warshaw, MBEF executive director Thursday.
“I was very happy to personally say ‘Welcome back,’ said MBUSD Superintendent Dr. Michael Matthews late Wednesday. “Delivering the news to staff was a great way to spend my day.”
Matthews has publicly said he would keep teachers informed every step of the way since the countdown to layoff teachers began in late February.
Forced to meet a state required deadline of March 15th, by which time all potential teachers who could be laid off must be notified, the school board voted to send out 24.6 pink slips to teachers for the upcoming school year.
Direction from the school board to make budget cuts everywhere else they could then resulted in MBUSD administrators managing to whittle the number down to approximately 11 cut teaching positions.
MBEF’s $5,385,000 now means 5 teaching positions will not be filled next year unless more money is forthcoming, said Matthews. Those positions are an athletic director position at Mira Costa High School, a special assignment teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School, two Spanish teachers and one counselor.
As school administrators were combing through budgets, making cuts items such as books and supplies, so too was MBEF applying the same mindset to their funds.
“We looked under every rock ourselves,” said Warshaw. They found $100,000 allocated to the current year for a teaching position that hadn’t been filled and moved it to the 2013-2014 grant allocation. “Scrimping and saving” and donations from the Parent Teacher Associations helped raise the additional $385,000 MBEF has granted to be used to keep small elementary class classes small, retain reading specialist jobs and to maintain small humanities and English classes in the sixth to ninth grades.
As for the five remaining positions set to be cut, Matthews said, “The governor’s budget just came out, the legislature is still in session… Nothing is done yet. There still may be things that happen that enable us to keep all of our teachers.”
He said it’s not uncommon for public school teachers to receive pink slips that are later rescinding, even after budgets have been adopted.
MBUSD plans to adopt its 2013-21014 budget no later than June 18th, he said.
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POULSBO — Teachers filling 8.6 FTE positions in the North Kitsap School District will receive pink slips Friday, May 10.
The North Kitsap School Board cut 27.3 teaching jobs for the 2013-14 school year during the board meeting May 9. Of those positions, the 8.6 are not covered by attrition — people retiring, leave of absence, resignations.
Unless the school district receives more funding to bring back some of those positions, none will be filled next year.
Regarding the latest reductions, parents and teachers are already raising concerns over student-teacher ratios, said Chris Fraser, president of the North Kitsap Education Association. Fraser does not think the adopted staffing program will be successful, she said.
“This is a cut-to-the-bone approach,” Fraser said.
The cuts come less than a week before the May 15 deadline to issue reduction in force (RIF) notices to teachers. The board is required by law to hand out RIF notices by that date.
Staff receiving RIF notices this year were expected to be given them May 10, according to Assistant Superintendent Chris Willits.
The board bases its staffing decisions on what it knows about the following year’s budget. School board president Dan Weedin said the numbers the board looks at in May usually change.
“We are required to make staffing decisions with a crystal ball,” he said.
All certificated employees who receive a RIF notice, or whose contract is adversely affected as a result of those notices, are placed in an employment pool to be considered for recall, according to the district’s bargaining agreement. If a job opens up for anyone in the pool that qualifies, they can be rehired. If a job opens that more than one person qualifies for, the person with most seniority is offered first, the agreement states.
The district will save an approximate $2.1 million if the 27.3 positions are cut, according to Superintendent Patty Page. The district is facing an approximate $3 million deficit for the 2013-14 budget, caused by declines in enrollment and in state and federal funding.
Student-teacher ratios will increase as a result of the staffing cuts, but “we cannot continue to operate this way,” Page said of the district’s financial responsibility. According to the proposed education program for 2013-14, presented to the board Thursday, the equivalent of 10.8 positions were cut from high schools, 7.8 from elementary schools, 4.2 from support staff, 2.5 from special education, and two from middle schools.
The district has 354.30 certified employees, according to district documents.
The area of education taking the most cuts in the proposed program is Career and Technical Education — 5.2 positions at the middle and high school levels.
The area taking the second highest number of cuts is K-5, 4.5 jobs.
The area with the third highest number of cuts is support staff, which include learning specialists, librarians and counselors. An equivalent of 4.2 support staff positions will be cut.
How staffing looks at each school is based on decisions made at the building level.
Contact North Kitsap Herald Education/Sports Reporter Kipp Robertson at email@example.com or (360) 779-4464.
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LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WGGB) –It took a lot of rallying to fill the gym at Longmeadow High School with hundreds of concerned community members for the annual town meeting Tuesday night. “We did a lot of outreach to PTOs, a lot of social media, we had Facebook events going, and we had people sharing that information,” said Michael Clark, Chairman of Longmeadow’s School Committee.
All in order to make sure people who were voicing their concerns to him showed up at Longmeadow High School to vote. Across the board budget cuts known as the sequester means the town’s public schools would see less funding next year on both state and federal levels. “We would’ve lost a 7th grade social studies teacher, 2 high school teachers in science, and physical ed teachers, 2 reading assistants, we would’ve lost another $73,000 that has yet to be determined where they would take it from,” Superintendent Marie Doyle stated.
That’s also in addition to slashing writing and music programs.
At first the school committee’s strategic plan said they needed $1.4 million to make sure everything could continue running as is. They went to the select board, and both sides compromised on $353,000. “I think sometimes we only look and numbers and talk about taxes. But behind every single dollar that the citizens give us, there’s a mission that needs to be carried out, and a child that needs to be helped,” she added.
Clark says they’re not adding anything next year, but for fiscal year 2014-2015, if the economy doesn’t improve they’ll likely have to face a similar dilemma.
Superintendent Doyle says Longmeadow public schools are also still in limbo about a special Circuit Breaker program, where the state reimburses some of the money school districts spend on special needs children.
Doyle says if the state cuts funding to that, it could really hurt the district.
CLAYTON, Ind. — Four Indiana high school track coaches suspended over their controversial punishment of team members won’t lose their jobs as teachers.
Mill Creek Community Schools said the four — three men and a woman — were back in the classroom Tuesday at Cascade High School but won’t return to their coaching roles.
School officials said an investigation into the May 1 incident in which the coaches made students “bear crawl” — do laps hunched over on their hands and feet, causing some students to have blisters on their hands — as punishment for missing practice was completed Tuesday.
“After gathering and investigating facts surrounding the incident that occurred, it has been determined that there was no intent to cause harm to students,” the school corporation said in a statement.
Sean Adams, Rosie Fakes, Josh Hagonow and Nicholas Puckett resigned their coaching jobs after the school corporation asked them to do so, said Linda Stinson, executive assistant to the superintendent.
But after the investigation, school officials said, “there was no evidence that the extracurricular incident that occurred would carry over to the classroom.”
In a statement released shortly after the incident, the school district apologized to the students’ parents and assured them that officials “do not condone, nor will tolerate” such behavior from school employees. The coaches had been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Students on the track team were split on the decision Tuesday afternoon.
Sophomore Mac White, 16, said media focus on the incident meant the teachers’ resignations as coaches “had to be done.”
But Eli Harrison, 18, one of those who did the punishment May 1, disagreed.
“They still shouldn’t have lost their coaching jobs, because the punishment wasn’t that severe,” he said.
According to Tuesday’s statement, the teachers will focus on “moving forward on effective teaching and student learning.”
Despite parent outrage, four track coaches at Cascade High School will not lose their jobs after accusations of abuse.
The images of blistered and bloody hands were hard to look at. Students said their track coaches at Cascade High School made them do bear crawls on a hot track, and some parents wanted the coaches fired.
However, the Mill Creek Community School Corporation said the coaches will keep their jobs in the school district.
After hearing all sides, the school board said, “There was no intent to cause harm to students” and they called it “poor judgment.”
The four coaches will no longer be able to coach track, but they will keep their teaching jobs at Cascade. Some residents wonder how they will now punish students in the classroom.
“I would ask if they’re going to be in the classroom and had to discipline children would that kind of discipline translate into the classroom or just be in the coaching aspect of the job,” said resident Jonnie Wallace-Halberstadt.
Others said the school board made a bad decision.
“I wouldn’t give them their job back cause the way they treated them like that,” said resident Will Lee. “I wouldn’t do it.”
The school district released this statement saying, “These teachers are back in the classroom today with the focus moving forward on effective teaching and student learning.”
It was also stated there was “no evidence” that the incident “would carry over to the classroom.”
Now, many residents hope the school and the families can move on with getting through the school year and focus on finals and graduation.
A college campus, whether large or small, resembles a small town and has similar needs, including a police force, grounds and maintenance personnel, housing, dining, physical plant, all skilled crafts and trades.
There are also administrative personnel for staffing, financial services, database and systems administrators, librarians and health care professionals.
Jana Callan, director of recruitment and systems management in human resources at Rice University, said she continues to look for a wide range of employees to fill positions, above and beyond teaching and research faculty.
Additionally, the University also is collaborating with Texas Medical Center on a veterans employment initiative.
“We do not outsource any of our jobs,” Callan said, “and if you work 20 hours a week on a yearly basis at Rice, you’re benefits-eligible – just like faculty – and can expect retirement, life, medical, disability and a generous, paid time-off package.”
Staff members also are eligible to attend free or low-cost athletic events, concerts at the Shepherd School of Music and campus lectures and theatrical productions.
Subsidized meals are offered at the Faculty Club, which is open to all faculty and staff.
In addition, benefits-eligible employees have the option of taking or auditing one class each year.
Rice University currently is home to a faculty of 800 and 2,500 staff members.
“We look for a good fit,” Callan said. “It’s very important to find people who are able to come in and understand that we’re mission driven. Flexibility and collaboration are also important, as are people open to building relationships.”
Callan described the Rice University culture as one in which people can prove themselves and move up in their careers.
To apply for a non-faculty position at Rice University, go to jobs.rice.edu. There, you’ll see all posted positions and will be able to fill out an online application. If you don’t have access to computer, visit the HR office, where there are kiosks for applicants to apply, and Rice University also is connected to the Work in Texas agency.
University hiring information
Community colleges and universities in the Houston area hire staff and administrative positions. The following sites are self-explanatory, listing available jobs and supplying applications for employment:
San Jacinto College, Pasadena: https://jobs.sjcd.edu
Houston Community College – all campuses
www.hccs.edu; click on “jobs@HCC”
Lone Star College – all campuses
www.lonestar.edu. Click on “job seekers.”
University of Houston – Clear Lake
http://prtl.uhcl.edu. Click on “Employment Opportunities.”
University of Houston – College Park: www.uh.edu
Click on “Jobs at UH”
University of Houston – Downtown: www.uhd.edu
Click on “Employment”
University of St. Thomas: www.stthom.edu
Click on “Administration” and/or “Staff”
Houston Baptist University: www.hbu.edu