The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 5, 2009

Details emerging on CCHS teacher layoffs

How will the recent Regional School Committee (RSC) plan to trim 4.75 full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions from the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) faculty affect the students? How many positions can be trimmed through attrition and how many teachers will be laid off? How will the course offerings be affected? Details were still being worked out when CCHS Principal Peter Badalament described the process on Wednesday, June 3.

Five people are retiring from CCHS this year: Health Coordinator for K-12 Kathy Bowen, Social Studies teacher Andrei Joseph, physical fitness teacher Dick Kerr, guidance counselor Brad McGrath and Special Education teacher Kathy Pendergast. Some retiring staff will not be replaced.

However, in addition to attrition, Badalament said six teachers will be laid off from “all major departments (Foreign Language, Social Studies, English, Math and Science).” Departments may lose more than one teacher, as Badalament noted ”the Science department has had to let some people go” but he added that departments will not lose more than 1.0 FTE, since many of the teachers being laid off are part-time.

He explained, “The first thing driving the lay-offs is the department ratios of students to teachers. I had to determine which departments had low ratios and then increase them.” Badalament has worked “with department chairs on which teachers would be laid off. Typically the teachers who have non-professional [non-tenure] status are the ones who have been let go.”

While the average class size is expected to grow from 22 to 23, some classes will be significantly larger. In addition, fewer sections of AP classes may be offered. Badalament when asked how he is choosing which classes to eliminate responded, “When and where I can I am trying to preserve whole programs and keep them intact.” He added, “Department Chairs are working on this over the next few days.”

At the May 26 meeting, when the RSC approved the cuts, Concord-Carlisle Teachers Association President Johanna Glazer voiced faculty concerns. She wanted the RSC to ask for a tax override to raise funds, if not this year, then certainly the next year. “Consider cuts carefully, include us in the discussion, listen to our ideas and actively seek other forms of revenue.” The RSC will continue discussing belt-tightening measures at a special meeting, to be held in the CCHS library on Tuesday, June 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Asked if the cuts would be revisited after the state FY10 budget is finalized in the next few weeks, Badalament replied, “Yes. If the numbers are better than expected, we would obviously try to restore positions.” ∆

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