Hazel I. Hines
The Delaware City School Board eliminated 14 district positions Monday night to deal with decreases in state and federal funding.
Parents, students, fellow employees and unions remained silent during Monday night’s Delaware City Schools work session as board members eliminated 14 teaching and support positions in 4-1 vote. Board member Frances O’Flaherty voted against the measure.
O’Flaherty has been outspoken about cutting teachers and support staff that would directly impact students when City Schools Superintendent Paul Craft presented the cost-saving plan in March.
“There were better ways to serve the students,” said O’Flaherty, before the vote. “I think overcrowding classrooms is not the way to go.”
Board President Ted Backus said it wasn’t an easy decision for the board.
“There are no jobs in the state,” Backus said. “Every school district is in a difficult position. We all understand that to get to the dollar amount we’re cutting that it cannot be done without eliminating some positions.”
The cuts approved Monday night are part of a plan to cut district expenses by $2.4 million from the budget in anticipation of potential major decreases — thought to be about 13 percent — in state funding.
The specific reductions approved Monday night include:
• Two Title 1 reading positions at Willis Intermediate and Schultz Elementary
• One Title 1 reading recovery position at Schultz
• One Title 1 math position at Woodward Elementary
• One eighth-grade science teacher at Dempsey Middle
• Two fourth-grade teachers at Smith Elementary
• One third-grade teacher at Woodward Elementary
• One first-grade teacher at Conger Elementary
• One physical education teacher at Carlisle and Conger elementary schools
• One second-grade teacher at Carlisle Elementary
• One academic coach at Carlisle and Smith elementary schools
• One stimulus-funded intervention specialist at Willis Intermediate
• One career-based intervention position at Hayes High
Some teachers and support staff attached to these positions will be reassigned based on licensure areas and seniority, said Doug Behnke, assistant city superintendent. Future lists will appear before the board for approval.
Last month, the board approved the elimination of the Hayes High School latin teacher and the assistant curriculum director.
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