Summer break is bringing bad news to dozens of full time employees within the New Haven Public School system.
According to the teachers’ union, 36 members will be getting layoff notices soon.
That includes school counselors, library and media specialists, physical education instructors and nine teachers.
“We’ve never had a budget deficit this large and unfortunately there is no way to get that much money through reducing copy paper, textbooks, professional development money and that has to come from personnel, there is no way around it and that’s how we landed in this position," said David Cicarella, president of the New Haven Federation of Teachers Local 933.
Facing a roughly $20 million deficit, the district is trying to close that budget gap, with a number of cuts.
The layoffs call for 17 school counselors, nine teachers, six library media specialists and four positions in the physical education department.
The district said it based the reduction on the 250 to one student to counselor ratio that is recommended by the American School Counselor Association.
While the layoff notices have gone out, and would go into effect at the end of August, those teachers would have a two-year callback window.
The layoffs will still need to be approved by the Board of Education.
On Wednesday, New Haven Superintendent Dr. Carol Birks sent out a letter to part-time employees to rescind layoff notices.
Last month, 1,100 layoff notices were sent out to part-time employees of the school district.
The layoffs caused parents and staff to be very upset with the district.
In the letter, Birks said, “It was never my intention to create any confusion or frustration in regards to your part-time employment status with New Haven Public Schools. Therefore, I would like to rescind the letter that you received dated June 22, 2018.”
In a statement about the layoffs, Birks said "Through this process, which has been transparent and collaborative, it is important to note, the information previously shared with the Board of Education and Finance Committee at Public meetings which has outlined our strategy to mitigate our budget gap. After working side by side with the Teacher’s Union, we have saved 100 positions by repurposing many of the roles by conducting a certification audit of our existing staff and placing them in open vacancies as an attempt to retain our internal talent and to save positions while focusing on core school and student needs and education responsibilities. To date our efforts of school closures, lease eliminations, program consolidations and staff reductions/attrition account for projected savings of $6,987,681. We will continue to engage in these proactive and collaborative budget mitigation strategies rooted state and national educational standards as well as best practices.”
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