9 to be laid off at Niles Community Schools Union criticizes decision in statementPublished 9:10am Wednesday, April 28, 2010
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
The Niles Community Schools Board of Education moved to approve a layoff of nine teachers within the district at a special meeting this morning.
Citing budget constraints being felt by many area school districts, Superintendent Doug Law drew a contrast with what Michigan school districts are dealing with compared to other states.
“The difference,” he said, “is that in Indiana, they already know exactly what their budget is, in Michigan we don’t know what our budget is … for us we have to be preventative in our stance.”
The nine are made up of four secondary teachers, four elementary teachers and one physical education specialist.
Prior to Law’s announcement to the board a statement from Andy Roberts, president of the Niles Teachers Union was read aloud. Roberts was not in attendance and many teachers who wanted to attend could not due to school schedules.
“The association is extremely disappointed that Mr. Law and the board chose to basically ignore the extensive list of cost saving recommendations that were provided to them by the association,” Roberts said in his statement. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Law and the Board have decided to make cuts that will directly affect kids in the classroom and are attempting to balance the budget deficit on the backs of the teachers.
“The association has, and will continue, to do everything within our power to assist those teachers that are affected by these layoffs, whether being recalled to a position with this district, or helping them find positions in other districts.
“In addition, the association is disappointed that Mr. Law and the Board chose to meet at a time when the teachers directly affected by this decision were not allowed to attend this very important meeting to voice their concerns.”
Law said the hope is that some and possibly half of those teachers would be recalled after the district finds out more details on how much federal funding they will receive for Title 1 programs by the end of the year.
“We are fairly confident that funding will come through,” he said.
With that, trustee Michael Dreher made the motion to approve the layoff of David Cleveland, Ryan Bigelow, Patrick Stier, Tom Adams, Josie DeJong, Sean Banyon, Heather Van Tuyl and Rebeka Hays.
The motion was supported by trustee Elaine Miller and with Jeff Curry the only member of the board absent, the board passed the resolution unanimously.
More information regarding cuts being made within the district is expected later today.