Nearly a year-and-a-half ago, the began the process of changing it's financial future. On Wednesday night, it finally came to a close.
The board of education approved $2.5 million in staff cuts, starting next school year, by a 4-1 vote. It was the final step in the process of making cuts and adding new revenue, totaling $3.275 million.
The staff cuts will affect 11 certified employees -- mostly teachers -- and 23 classified staff members. Some classified staff will lose their jobs, while others will see reduced hours, and some will be repositioned. In total 58 positions have been affected in some way, including positions removed by attrition and reductions through job sharing.
“The decisions to do this have been agonizing,” Board President Ron Stuver said.
While 11 teachers have been affected, nine will lose their jobs. Two foreign language teachers have had their hours cut in half.
While it was a tough decision across the board, not all were convinced this was the necessary action.
“I struggle with these drastic changes based on anticipations of the unknown,” Board Member Stephen Shebeck said. Voting against the changes, he fears this decision is an overreaction to an uncertain financial forecast.
“I think we’re maybe being a little too aggressive, but that’s just my opinion,” Shebeck said.
Nora Suder-Riley, president of the Twinsburg Education Association, agrees that these changes are too much.
"It's very sad," Suder-Riley said. "I agree with Steve Shebeck and I'm fearful these cuts are a little too deep." She believes they are losing a strong group of teachers.
"It just breaks my heart that our students aren't going to have them available to us," Suder-Riley said.
According to Superintendent Kathryn Powers, while these cuts are significant, students shouldn't see much of the effects.
“I’m encouraged that these operational changes will have a minimal impact on the boys and girls in this school district,” Powers said.
“I’m convinced, as gut-wrenching as it has been, we’ve made the best decisions to the information we have,” Board Member Paul Crosby said.
“I want to thank everyone who is on the list of reductions,” Board Member David Andrews added. “They have done a fabulous job for the district.”
What are your thoughts on the final round of cuts? Were they too deep or were they necessary? Tell us in the comments section below.