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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

180 teachers in Milford get pink slips

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
MILFORD
— The district’s central office’s phone lines went into overdrive Monday afternoon as 180 nontenured city teachers were given layoff notices, a move that Superintendent of Schools Harvey B. Polansky described as “gut-wrenching.”
According to state law, the Board of Education must notify nontenured teachers whether their contracts will be renewed by April 1, and Polansky said that was not possible after the Board of Finance cut its budget last week by $2.1 million from $82.9 million to $80.8 million. Overall the school system’s budget is still scheduled to increase by 3.7 percent over this fiscal year.
Polansky said the district can rehire the teachers and said there is no way the district would ever cut loose 180 teachers. But since there is the possibility that there will be some layoffs unless the Board of Aldermen reinstates the budget reductions, the notices had to be sent out, the superintendent said.
“There is no assurance of job security due to the budget cuts,” Polansky said. “We would not be doing this if not for the budget cuts. It’s absolutely gut-wrenching.”
He said he hopes the teachers will sit tight until the budget situation is resolved, but he added he understands teachers may have to look elsewhere for work because “people need to make a living.”
School board Chairman David Hourigan, D-4, said he hopes the layoff notices will prompt the teachers and parents to come out and implore the aldermen to restore the budget reductions.
“They are the ones with control over restoring the cuts,” Hourigan said. “The message is not just to the teachers. It is to anyone with concerns about the quality of education in Milford.”
Residents can address the aldermen at a public hearing 7 p.m. April 2 at City Hall.
Typically, only those teachers who are not expected to be brought back for performance issues receive the layoff notification, but the number skyrocketed this year to include all nontenured teachers.
Immediately following the Finance Board’s budget reductions Polansky said if the cuts were not restored then the district would have to reduce staff and programs, and look at even closing a school.
Aldermanic Chairman Ben Blake, D-5, said “obviously” the layoff notices were a direct result of the Finance Board’s reductions. “Do I see 180 teachers being terminated? No,” Blake said. “We look forward to having residents and taxpayers come to explain their positions so we have a better feel for how residents feel about the budget,” Blake said.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

By law the slips had to go out. However, the Supt. could not wait to get in the newspaper about it. This is nothing but fear mongering and he needs to stop this. Grow up and act like a professional. These are hard times - we cannot keep digging in our pockets for you. Everyone is asking to do more with less - why not you?

March 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What makes you think the superintendent approached the papers? I got the impression the teachers sounded the alarm in the press ..... Our school system has been doing more with less for years. With increaases in utilities alone it is impossible for a school or city budget not to see an increase. Go place your blame for teacher raises on the arbitration board that awarded them, no the board of ed. And while you're at it, get on the city to "do more with less" as well. You don't think there is waste and abuse on the city side? Can't tell you how many times I've seen a parent picking up a child from school in a public works vehicle. Why is that? If everyone is being asked to "do more with less" why is it that many seniors are screaming for more, more, more in tax breaks for themselves? That comes out of my pocket too.

March 19, 2008 at 11:12 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are people's careers that are on the line. They are the people who are with your children each day. People often point to summers off and complain about teacher salaries. It may be 180 school days, but teachers work 180 school nights as well. If you don't believe it, talk to the family members of a teacher. If you really crunch the numbers, I'm sure you would not want a teacher's hourly rate. Yes, raises were awarded by the arbitration board, but are you aware that Milford teachers recieve less than the surrounding districts. Ask your children how disposable their teacher is.

March 19, 2008 at 9:59 PM 
Anonymous Mark l - parent said...

Please be more specific with regard to "Surrounding Area". I would like to see names of towns. Some are VERY affluent and can afford more, while others are like Bridgeport that recieve lots of state and federal money to "try" and financially entice teachers to come to the inner city.
So please point to a school system and then we can have a conversation. Let'[s also consider that our Elected folks from Milford in Hartford have failed us in getting the big bucks for Milford BOE. Each year we have lost funding, with the exception of the VoAg cash good ol Jim Amann got us. But that is justa drop in the bucket. I'll check back for your city names.

March 21, 2008 at 9:59 AM 
Anonymous Mark l - parent said...

After 10 days nothing from "Anonymous" on the specific city they are refering to. So much for the facts.

April 1, 2008 at 11:43 AM 

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