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.
The Utica City School District announced Tuesday that 17 teachers have agreed to a $14,000 retirement incentive negotiated with the union, saving other teaching positions from the chopping block.
“This is a win-win and it’s a great cost-saving measure for the district,” said Superintendent Bruce Karam.
The approximately $305,000 in incentive savings combined with a $407,000 recalculation of debt service interest will allow the district to add nine teaching positions back to the budget—four English Language Arts, three math and two elementary.
The retirements also mean 17 open positions that the district plans to fill with teachers whose positions are still being cut.
“We’ve been working very hard to achieve this goal,” Karam said.
The district is facing an about $6.2 million budget deficit for the 2013-14 school year due to significant rising costs, the opening of a charter school, insufficient state aid and forced federal spending cuts.
Its $139 million budget includes a 2 percent tax increase and the elimination of 83 positions, 49 of which are teaching.
A public hearing is May 7, and it will go to public vote May 21.
The budget originally eliminated 98.5 positions, including those cut due to a decrease in federal funding through sequestration- 64.5 of which were teaching positions.
When the district learned it would receive an additional $313,164 in state aid, not including building aid, it was able to add 5.5 teaching position back— 3.5 secondary positions and two elementary.
The district will fill the positions open through the retirement incentive based on seniority and teacher credentials.
“This in turn will keep class sizes smaller for our students and reduce the overall number of teacher layoffs, which is good for the community economically,” Karam said.
Opposition MLA Olive Crane questioned government today on its plans to cut teachers this year, claiming the province will cut 70 positions.
Crane said she received calls from teachers over the weekend who quoted this number to her.
“Educators are not agreeing that this Department of Education can actually take 70 teaching positions out of the system through retirements,” Crane said.
She asked McIsaac how many teachers would be retiring.
He said he believes that number would be 25.
He would not say whether 70 positions are indeed being cut, saying this number not yet been determined.
“At this point we are in the middle of negotiations, there is no number decided at the present time,” McIsaac said.
“If there are teachers coming out of the system, it will hopefully be through attrition.”
He pointed out his department’s budget was frozen this year, so his dollars must be allocated carefully and with a focus on the quality of education.
“We keep in focus as well there are only so many dollars,” he said.
“We are going to look at this very carefully, expend our dollars in the most effective and efficient way.”
But Crane said parents are worried because their children are not making national education standards.
She is concerned cuts to teachers could jeopardize student outcomes.
Thursday evening Hamilton School District officials voted to not fill 11 teaching positions.
School board members held a special meeting Thursday regarding job cuts, where the public voiced their concerns over how cuts could impact education.
Most of the folks who got up to speak urged the school board to postpone the teacher reduction. They asked for the board to wait and find out if state dollars would be available to offset costs.
Administrators tell us the cuts are necessary to offset an anticipated $371,000 deficit.
School officials said they don’t believe they will see significant funding increases and they have other budget issues to consider like tenure teacher salaries.
“This isn’t something that is just this year, this has been done before. We had 29 of them two years ago,” said board member Jim Shea.
Hamilton resident and mother Angie Poliquin stood up a handful of times to voice her concerns about the teacher cuts. She explained to board members that her son has Down syndrome and she feels eliminating so many para-professionals would have detrimental impacts on her son.
“The school district is his last best hope at getting to be a self-supporting, contributing member of society when he’s an adult and I really want to see that happen for him,” said Poliquin. “I’m afraid pulling resources where they’re desperately needed and experienced teachers from where they’re proven is a mistake.”
The 11 positions which will not be filled are:
-1 preschool specialist
-1 art specialist
-1 grant writer
Poliquin tells NBC Montana she understands having a balanced budget, but says she’s disappointed the school had to eliminate 11 teaching positions to do so.
NBC Montana will continue to follow this story and bring you the details as we learn more.
BRENTWOOD — Over the next decade, the Brentwood Union School District’s energy management program is projected to pay for 30 full-time teaching positions through daily energy saving measures, according to district officials.
Just 14 months into the energy program, which includes a strong educational component, the district has saved $251,771. According to district Energy Education Specialist Derrick Bullington, a majority of the savings have been accomplished through training employees to change their habits, such as turning off lights and computers when not needed in classrooms or computer labs.
“A lot of people are in the habit now of shutting things off,” he said.
One effective cost-saving measure has been to initiate blackouts after 10 p.m. on all of the district’s campuses, including the exterior and parking lot lights. Bullington noted that this has led to a reduction in vandalism and loitering by students after hours as well as significant savings.
The district spends almost $2 million annually on utilities, Bullington said. Bullington said that he visits each campus every three weeks to communicate and collaborate with principals, school site employees and maintenance and operations staff.
“We have been able to identify leaks at different school sites,” said district Chief Business Official Liz Robbins of the program.
The district collaborates with Cenergistic, an energy conservation company, on reducing its
energy usage and avoiding related costs. Energy usage can be monitored 24 hours per day and seven days per week and Bullington noted that the main goal is to achieve 20 percent savings at all of the school sites.
“This is part of our world that we need to be aware of,” said Brentwood school board member Emil Geddes regarding efforts to educate students about energy conservation through the program.
BUSD Interim Superintendent Doug Adams emphasized that Brentwood’s Pioneer Elementary School was the first California elementary school to utilize a solar energy system and Adams Middle School was one of the largest campuses to implement a similar system.
“This is really an easy money-saver,” Adams said.
Contact Paula King at 925-779-7174 or email@example.com.
While Bloomfield Township’s special budget meeting, originally scheduled for this Saturday, has been postponed, the Bloomfield Board of Education has scheduled two special budget meetings.
With nearly 100 teaching jobs on the line, the board of education plans to meet at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Administration Building, 155 Broad St. A second budget meeting is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Bloomfield High School auditorium.
Both board of education public meetings could go into closed sessions, as the need arises to discuss specific personnel matters, according to Board Attorney Nick Dotoli.
Hundreds of parents and educators protested proposed teacher layoffs at this past Tuesday’s board meeting. Officials say the district would need an additional $6 million to keep the teachers.
The board introduced a $95.6 million budget that calls for a $66.5 million tax levy. It currently calls for a $278 tax increase for the average homeowner, with a home assessed at $276,900
The board plans to add two questions to the fall ballot: Restore 42 teacher positions for $2.7 million, and pay an additional $594,000 for district-wide repairs and boiler replacement. If both additional expenditures are approved, the average homeowner will pay $390.
Superintendent Jason Bing has said the district is looking at all options, including outsourcing some non-teaching positions.
In other news, the Bloomfield Township Council postponed its Saturday budget meeting. It’s been rescheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday, March 23, in the Mayor’s Conference Room at the Law Enforcement Building.
By: Christine Souders
24 teaching positions are being cut at Moline schools, and Monday night teachers and parents weighed
The school board announced their decision
during the school board meeting inside the John Deere Middle School Auditorium
to many of the teachers who got a pink slip.
“We were expecting them but the fiscal situation is
dyer,” said Ken Schneck, the Former Education Association President.
The District approved the money saving move to try to fix a
nearly $4 million dollar deficit for next year.
The district is laying off 17 teachers,
They also decided not to replace 7 teachers retiring this
Moline Superintendent’s Dr. David Moyer said the District has
to make tough cuts because of the budget, most of the cuts will be at the middle school and high
He said fewer teachers, will mean bigger class sizes.
Parent Jennifer Moyer said she’s not happy her kids won’t have some of the same teachers,
“You have excellent teachers that you want your other
children to have, and so it’s kind of sad.”
Teachers jobs aren’t the only ones on the chopping
there will be a meeting in April to discuss cuts to
CCSD hopes to recruit 6,000 applicants for new teaching jobs
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Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — Hundreds of new teaching positions in Clark County could be filled both locally and nationally.
The Clark County School District announced plans this week to hire roughly 1,700 new teachers by the 2013-2014 school year, which includes about 700 new positions, said district spokesman Michael Rodriguez. Roughly 1,000 positions are expected to become vacant through attrition, he said.
The district would like to have a pool of about 6,000 applicants by Aug. 31, Rodriguez said. So where will the candidates come from and which schools will they work in?
For starters, the district hopes to recruit many candidates online through a revamped human resources website, Rodriguez said. The national search will likely focus on states like Arizona, as well as California and Utah, where teachers were recently laid off and would have a shorter move to Nevada compared to states that are farther away, Rodriguez said. Local candidates are also encouraged to apply, he said.
“If we get more teachers, that’s certainly going to be much more conducive to a better work environment for the teachers and better learning situation for the kids,” said Jerre Moore, principal at Doris Hancock Elementary.
The additional teachers are expected to help reduce congested classrooms by an average of two students, the district said. At Doris Hancock, the school said it has enrolled 54 new students since the start of the school year including seven in the last week. Overall, the district expects to add about 1,500 new students by the next school year.
“The kids keep coming and the class sizes keep increasing,” said Moore.
Local recruits could come from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, which graduates about 200 teachers each year. Randall Boone, chair of the department of teaching and learning, said many of his students are from the area and want to stay in the valley.
“Our folks like to stay here,” said Boone. “We’re a local campus.”
Teach for America’s Las Vegas office said it also hopes to fill some of the open positions, but won’t know an exact number until the end of March, said executive director Victor Wakefield.
The district said it will use roughly $23 million in savings from a recent arbitration ruling to pay for the positions.
We’ve all heard it. We’re in the midst of one of the worst economic slumps in decades. Along with increased prices and decreased job opportunities, recent college graduates are stressed about being forced to take multiple part-time jobs just to afford a tiny studio apartment and a used sedan. While living paycheck-to-paycheck isn’t ideal, it is the situation that many college graduates are finding themselves in.
However, earning certain degrees can result in even lower rates of employment after graduation. Specifically, people hoping to put their education degrees to good use are most likely going to be disappointed.
Recent statistics show the number of people searching for a teaching job greatly exceeds the number of available jobs. While this seems to be common knowledge, there are many factors that make up the difficult situation.
Due to the recession, there is less money being put toward programs revolving around education. The government cut hundreds of millions of dollars out of the state budget for education. As a result, classes are getting bigger and teaching jobs are being cut.
Also, our government and our culture doesn’t stress the importance of a quality educational system. We are far from leading the world in education. This is because education is one of the first aspects of our society that loses money.
Statistics aren’t the only thing that shows how desperate the situation is getting. I’m sure we all know someone who is on the hunt for a job at a local elementary school.
My step-mother is a third-grade teacher. She is constantly being berated by the administration about how much money she’s using, whether it’s on textbooks or the paper he or she uses to print out tests.
In fact, this year the school stopped using textbooks altogether and have been relying on one book and the use of media to teach children everything. The lengths they are going just to save money proves just how desperate the situation has gotten.
My sister went to SUNY Cortland and earned a physical education degree in hopes of becoming a physical education teacher and coach at a local high school. She graduated from college in 2009. She had an impressive GPA and was a collegiate athlete. However, she has spent the last four years trying to find a teaching job to no avail. She recently decided to give up all together and take a job as a salesperson for a small company. She devoted her entire college career to becoming the best teacher she could be and had to give up her dream because there weren’t any jobs available. So, like many other people her age, she chose a job with a salary that may be a little less satisfying than the one she grew up thinking she would have.
On top of having a shortage of available jobs, there is also a shortage in teachers certified in specific areas of teaching. For example, students within the education major can concentrate on special education or a specific subject. Instead, a great number of students are choosing to concentrate in elementary education, a degree that wouldn’t allow them to teach at the middle or high school level. This, on top of budget cuts, are greatly diminishing the probabilities of getting a job within the first few years after graduating.
It’s the university’s job to better prepare students for their post-graduation endeavors by making sure they know what will give them the best prospects. It’s important the institution that is getting paid tens of thousands of dollars per student to educate students is taking responsibility for the readiness of these students when it comes time to start combing through her job market.
As someone who witnessed a loved one watch her lifelong dreams slip away because of a lagging job market, it’s important to stress how necessary it is for these students to mold their dreams to fit reality. When it comes time to start paying back loans in addition to monthly rent, car and phone bill, any job at all may be worth explaining.
The fact of the matter is you are going to be spending 40 hours a week doing something so it might as well be something you enjoy. Finding a balance between realistic opportunities and enjoying what you do is the most important and hardest thing you will do after graduating.
There’s a difference between compromising and settling. The hard part is knowing the difference.