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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nontenured teachers’ jobs are safe

By Brian McCready
Milford Bureau Chief
— The 180 non-tenured teachers who received layoff notices earlier this year can rest easy knowing their jobs are safe, as the Board of Aldermen voted to reinstate $990,000 into the Board of Education budget.
Superintendent of Schools Harvey B. Polansky said the almost $1 million that aldermen reinstated from the Board of Finance’s budget reductions will help prevent layoffs.
The Board of Finance in March reduced the school board’s proposed 2008-09 budget by $2.1 million, from $82.9 million to $80.8 million. The final school budget now stands at $81.82 million, a 5 percent increase over the current fiscal year. School officials had sought a 6.1 percent increase.
The aldermen voted 10 to 5 to reinstate the funds with all nine Democrats and Republican Alderman Ray Vitali, R-5, voting for the education budget. Vitali’s vote was integral because adding funds back to the budget requires a two-thirds majority vote.
Vitali retired as Harborside Middle School principal last year. Polansky said even though almost $1 million was reinstated, the school board will still have to make cuts totaling $1.1 million.
The board will meet at 7 p.m. June 2 at the Parsons Government Center to discuss budget reductions.
The superintendent said there will still be fewer personnel next year, but positions will not be filled through attrition; either retirements or departures. He said an exact number is not known, but there will be at least five less positions next year.
Polansky said planned program improvements will be scrapped, including an after-school program for students who do not perform well at the Alternative High School. A planned career counselor post will be eliminated, Polansky said.
Polansky said he was pleased that money was added back to the budget.
“It’s a balancing act. The aldermen did the best they could,” Polansky said. “I’m not going to have to dismantle the school system.”
He said he is disappointed the system will not take a step forward. The school system needed a 5.4 percent increase to maintain current services.
“We’re not making the progress that we’d hope to make. That’s troubling to me,” Polansky said.
But he said he understands that given the state of the economy, the aldermen needed to be sensitive to taxpayers.
Polansky credited the 500 parents who spoke at a budget hearing for the funds being reinstated.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very Sad - we don't need all the teachers employed in Milford.
Maybe if they just showed up - the students might learn something. The budget for Substitutes is huge - and there are students who may not graduate. Any teacher who has a fingerprint on these students should be ashamed of themselves.

May 28, 2008 at 3:43 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head. Teachers need to show up and teach. There will always be some students who will not grad - but it seems that now at the end of the year - oral exams and extra work on the part of the students and teachers will push them through the system.
Dr Polansky is disapp. in his budget, including the increase of close to $1,000,000. I am outraged the money was given back. He uses terms like dismantle the school system and continued progress will not be made. He is troubled - will so am I with every tax increase. Perhaps he needs to think out of the box to get his teachers to teach. Every business I know of is working with less and still getting the job done. The reason, Business needs to report to shareholders who expect a quality return. Not so with the Milford School System. He believes he and the system can only succeed if he has more and more money. It is time he and the BOE learn to do more with less.

May 29, 2008 at 9:34 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article in the Register today.
8 positions cut by the Milford BOE - They knew all along what they were going to do and where to save money - With the reinstatement of the $990K the BOE and Dr Polansky laughed all the way to the bank.
The Board of Aldermen should look at New Haven - they made tough decisions and the tax rate will stay the SAME!!
Shame on our Mayor, the BOE, and th Board of Alderman. The only way they can solve a problem is to dig deeper into the pockets of the citizens of Milford. Such a sad bunch.

June 3, 2008 at 11:56 AM 
Anonymous Perks said...

Agree that they should have heldf their ground on the $2 million deduction in program growth. Remember, this was not actually a cut, as that would have been taking away what they had, rather we did not give them allthe new money they asked for. Again, the Aldermen caved in and after they made this big show last election of "being tough on taxes spending". Yeh, right.

June 5, 2008 at 8:44 AM 

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