Don't cut teachers. That's what more than 100 people came out to tell the New Haven Board of Education Monday night. And in response, board members unanimously voted to table the plan.
Monday night students, parents, and teachers packed the New Haven Board of Education meeting and spoke out against cutting teaching positions.
Last month 53 people, mostly classroom teachers, learned their positions were being eliminated. They're not being laid off but reassigned. There are 80 other teaching vacancies in the district that need to be filled, and they've been told they'll get first pick.
Anne Pacelli teaches 10th and 11th grade English. She says there are several other English teachers now wondering what to do and not enough open English teaching positions for everyone.
"We don't know what to do. I don't know. Should I clean my room out? Should I put my posters down?" said Pacelli.
"Last year we reduced more than 135 positions, and we placed people. This year we're trying to give people options so that we can make sure we're fiscally responsible and do what is right for kids," said New Haven Superintendent Dr. Carol Birks.
Birks says they worked with the schools. She says principals identified the positions that could be reduced without impacting education and that teachers were identified because of the enrollment numbers in their schools. She says cutting 53 positions would save the district $3.6 million, less than halfway to the $12 million in staff savings they need to get to.
But after hearing concerns from dozens in the community on Monday night about the impact the cuts could have to the classroom, the board unanimously voted to table the plan.
"We need a more comprehensive mitigation approach," said New Haven Board of Education member Dr. Edward Joyner.
Board members say they want more information on the impact of the 53 cuts. The plan has been tabled until the next BOE meeting later this month.