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School Board Approves $2.5 Million in Employee Cuts

The Twinsburg Board of Education approved the final stages of $3.3 million in cuts and revenue

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.

Paula McKenzie April 19, 2012 at 12:10 PM
When will the list of teachers being let go be made public??
Kristen Loughley April 19, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I do not know what teachers/positions have been cut or will effect my sons, but I DO know the change in block scheduling at the high school has effected my son who will be a senior. There are classes he will not be able to take because of this. It is very frustrating especially as a senior.
Mitch Cooper April 19, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Being there on Wednesday, I know it was a tough meeting to sit through. What do you think about this decision?
Dave April 19, 2012 at 03:48 PM
I applaud the Twinsburg School Board for being proactive in addressing these financial concerns rather than waiting until it is too late and there is a crisis. However, I do agree with Mr. Shebeck in that it is hard to make these decisions when the future funding model is so uncertain. It is hard to believe that the state is going to continue to underfund education as it has for this year and next year. I just can't believe that funding won't come some how, some way. Unless the state legislature truly does want public education to become a for profit charter system. And that may be the case. I guess if the funding does come back at some level, some of the cuts can be re-instituted. Again, I want to thank the School Board for their hard work on this difficult issue. Other local districts will be in much worse shape if funding does not come back since they have not taken the proactive approach that Twinsuburg has taken. Oh by the way, I don't think this fall is a good time to ask the residents of Twinsburg to pass a new levy. It will be hard to ask for more money after all of these cuts. I know I would not support it.

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