Lots of districts made painful choices this spring to fit into that ill-advised tax cap. East Aurora in western New York was like almost all districts across the state that cut programs and increased class size.
Starting this fall, students in the East Aurora schools will have larger class sizes, fewer academic choices, and less contact with their teachers. Faculty Association President Larry Grisanti offered the specifics in a press release the union put out this week.
Across the District, students will suffer due to these cuts, with their educational opportunities limited, and their chances at a high quality education diminished. At the High School, 22% of all classes have been cut, with many of the remaining classes currently scheduled to have more than 30 students in a classroom, creating not only student safety issues, but also curtailing a student’s ability get direct one- on-one instruction, turning classrooms into lecture halls.
Why is that worthy of a press release, you might ask? Because earlier in August the Superintendent recommended the district hire a part-time administrator to oversee the new Annual Professional Performance Review process while the 8.6 teachers laid off in June remain unemployed.
“We should be putting our students first by getting teachers back into the classroom,” Grisanti said. “If the money is available to hire an administrator, they have the money to hire teachers. The East Aurora Faculty Association believes that the District should be rehiring the teachers cut before it adds administrative staff. Our students deserve to be in small classrooms where teachers can address their student’s individual needs, not crammed into overstuffed classrooms that limit their contact with their teachers.”
No word yet on whether the school board will go along with the superintendent’s recommendation. Is your district hiring more administration? Let us know.