School board votes for cuts

SANDUSKY The Sandusky school board voted unanimously Friday to cut 13 teaching positions, leaving nine teachers without jobs
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

The Sandusky school board voted unanimously Friday to cut 13 teaching positions, leaving nine teachers without jobs in the district.

During the meeting, the board explained the teacher cuts were largely the result of a failed levy and an effort to save money.

Board member King Baer was visibly frustrated when explaining the reasoning behind his vote.

"I think the thing that bothers me the most is that we wouldn't have to do this if our community would rise to the occasion and support these kids," he said. "Seventeen percent of registered voters voted ... We have over 4,000 students here and we got a little over 1,000 votes. It just frustrates me that I have to vote on something because other people didn't vote."

The board tabled voting on cutting a part-time French position. The teacher, Gloria Dobish, said she would teach six periods a day, rather than the traditional five, so she could continue teaching an introduction to French class.

The board decided if the changes were feasible with her schedule, they would not vote to cut the half position. High school Principal Dan Poggiali is working on arranging her schedule.

Before the vote members of the community were given the chance to address the board. Three people took the opportunity to urge the board to reconsider the cuts.

Michelle Spencer spoke on behalf of the Sandusky Orchestra Parents Association, since there were three cuts from the music department.

"Losing a fourth- and fifth-grades strings program, a band director and a general music teacher will significantly weaken our successful music programs, which have been a source of pride for our children and community for years," Spencer said.

Superintendent Bill Pahl presented the board with a detailed report of the budget reductions the district made before resorting to cutting positions. The report showed that the music program costs the district more than $1.3 million.

"We are very proud of our music department," Pahl said. "It is truly the icing on the cake. The problem is, the ingredients to make the cake is being shortchanged while the icing still receives premium ingredients. The cake is crumbling under the icing. We need to make adjustments. The academics are failing; we need the money for academics."

Overall, the district is only down 11 positions because two positions, a fifth-grade teacher and a special needs teacher, were added.