Updated 04/19/2012 09:49 AM
Kingston School Board approves layoffs
Calling it "right-sizing" the district, the Kingston School Board approved a budget that includes layoffs - and lots of them. Our Christian Farrell has the story.
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KINGSTON, N.Y. -- Kingston School Board President James Shaughnessy made the announcement Wednesday evening during a special school board meeting. The district is eliminating 91 positions next fall.
"It's a harsh budget in terms of impact on personnel," said Shaughnessy.
In laying off 40 teachers, 30 teacher's assistants, and other support personnel, the school board voted unanimously to approve the district's proposed $143 million budget for the 2012-2013 school year. The budget hikes the district's tax levy by 2.5 percent.
"We really have to streamline our operation so that we can deliver the educational program that we need for our students, as well as taking into account the capacity of the community to pay for those programs," said Shaughnessy.
Some programs, such as AP classes, will be reduced according to school officials, along with class sizes increasing as a result of the layoffs. It’s a concern of teachers like Loretta DiCorcia and Terry McCann.
"My major concern is the kids. That's why we became teachers. We really care that they get a quality education," said teacher Loretta DiCorcia.
"I'm just hoping we're really weighing our options as a district, and we don't make anything that's impacting the kids to negative," said Terry McCann, also a teacher.
Local residents will have their say when the budget is put to a public vote May 15th.