An auditorium full of pain, sacrifice

If you’ve seen “Les Miserables” and remember when Marius sings of the heart-wrenching loss of his friends in “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables,” then you know what it’s like to be standing in the auditorium at Bethlehem High School right now. It’s 3 p.m. and members of the Bethlehem Central TA won’t let anyone who has come for a press conference sit in any of the seats. That’s because each seat is symbolic of the more than 700 Capital District job cuts.

By my math, the actual number of sacrificed jobs is over 930. Those numbers start alphabetically with Albany, where there are 22 support staff layoffs and end with Watervliet, where there are 3 teacher layoffs.

There are also positions lost because of retirements not being filled.

Here’s specifics of what just one district, Cohoes, had to cut.

  • 1.5 librarians (1 elementary and .5 middle school)-the elementary librarian is moving to the high school and the high school librarian is being laid-off
  • 1.4 technology teachers (elimination of 1 from high school and reduction from 2 to 1.6 at the middle school)  However, there is only 1 reduction due to a retirement at the middle school.  The high school tech teacher will move to the middle school and the position at the high school will be eliminated.
  • 1 high school business teacher
  • .4 high school family and consumer sciences teacher (no lay-off due to the retirement)
  • Cut of high school coordinators positions (results in .2 cut in Math, English, SS, and Science)-this leads to a reduction to .8 of four teachers.
  • 1 elementary teacher,
  • reduction to .8 of elementary music teacher (elimination of 4th grade band and 4th and 5th grade chorus),
  • 1 special education teacher,
  • 3.6 teaching assistants (1 elementary, 2 middle school and .6 high school, the .6 will not be replaced)


One Comment

  1. Liza Frenette June 1, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    This blog is chilling. This event shows us real life. Here. Now.
    Bravo to the Bethlehem Central TA for showing what is really going on.
    It’s not numbers — it’s people!! Teachers, aids, librarians, SRP’s and students are all paying the
    cost of the economic problems of this state — being asked to fix problems created by Wall Street and greedy banks and corporations.
    Betsy – the song is perfect for this situation.

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