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Linglestown Gazette: Is it necessary for CD to ax 74 teachers?

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Is it necessary for CD to ax 74 teachers?

Like many school districts in Pennsylvania, Central Dauphin is scrambling to find a way to keep the district solvent.

School administrators last week called for up to 84 employees, including 74 teachers, to lose their jobs and a 3.3 percent property tax increase to address a budget deficit and possible bankruptcy by 2015.

Based on a letter received by this blog from community activist Eric Epstein (pictured below), the justification for axing so many teachers is unclear, especially when there's no recommendation to reduce the number of district administrators.

Epstein wants district administrators to detail where over $1.5 million in recommendations for savings and revenue generation identified by Central Dauphin Task Force committees will be implemented or realized in the 2012-13 school budget.

The task force was modeled after one in West Chester, Pa., that found $3 million in either cost savings or revenue generation in the district's 2010-11 budget without furloughing dozens and dozens of teachers, according to Epstein.

With all this said, it's important to note that cutting teachers is a big-ticket item for reducing costs because the state pension system has started to jack up contributions from CD and other districts statewide. CLICK HERE for a recent story by The Patriot-News that mentions retirement costs near the end of the piece.

CLICK HERE to read Epstein's letter.
Related links:

Update on CD's budget struggles published Monday, 4/2/12, by The Patriot-News.

Patriot-News columnist Nancy Eshelman says public schools crisis makes her blood boil.

— The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 16, 7 pm, the Lecture Hall of CD East High School.



At 6:29 AM, Blogger  said...

I know CD is in a tough spot like other Pa. districts, but it looks bad when the board shuffled off the $150,000-per-year superintendent to a remote office and forbid him to talk to the media.

What role did Dr. Gonzalez have in coming up with the teacher-cut plan? Could we have expected a more balanced plan for staff cuts for our tax dollars? I think so.

And, this follows the debacle with the bus drivers.

Add it all up and I'm not confident that the board and administration are headed in a good direction with the draconian teacher cuts.

Please join me in attending the next school board meeting on 4/16/12.

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

B2 - I think you post some very important questions...and I believe, like you, that this school board continues to make extremely poor decisions, up to and including the school bus drivers' debacle...I will try to make it tomorrow night. Just beyond disgusting what these board members have done, notably in the past few years. Where's the accountability ? Where is the transparency that Ford Thompson promised - it doesn't exist !!!

At 10:17 PM, Blogger  said...

Thanks much for your comment. You hit on two key issues -- accountability and transparency.

To build trust with the public, the board needs to let the sun shine on their deliberations. My gut tells me that far too many issues are discussed during the board's infamous executive sessions held prior to public meetings.


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