November 28, 2014

Elyria
Mostly cloudy
22°F
test

More cuts in Lorain

School board delays plan to lay off 101 more employees

LORAIN — The Lorain school board delayed laying off another 101 employees —
75 more than previously announced — Thursday.
The cuts — 26 of which were previously announced — are still planned, but the board didn’t say why it put off the action.
Instead, the board approved several financial documents, including a temporary budget of $89.6 million for the 2007-08 school year. That figure is likely to change thanks to the district’s decision earlier this month to lay off nearly a third of its teaching staff. The cuts the district is still considering will reduce next year’s budget even further.
Also Thursday, the board signed off on its final budget of $91 million for the past school year.
District spokesman Dean Schnurr said after the meeting that the board tabled the job cuts because there was “a concern you have to dictate more clearly what actions must be taken,” although the board’s intention seemed pretty clear to the about 20 people who showed up for the noon meeting.
They were intending to cut those additional positions, said Billy Kopp, who represents the custodial and maintenance employees union. He said he didn’t receive word about the board meeting until an hour and a half before it started.
“I got a call at 10:47 this morning that we’d be taking 13 cuts. There were 52 of us to begin with,” Kopp said.
“Our contract says we’re supposed to get 30 days’ notice of anyone being let go, and I didn’t even know about this meeting until I saw it in the paper. I’m on vacation this week, or I wouldn’t have been here,” Kopp said.
Schnurr also said the board didn’t act because it was concerned about the accuracy of the information in the resolution.
“We’re affecting many lives,” Schnurr said. “We want to do this in a manner that’s appropriate. We want to make sure the information is accurate.”
However, a list of the individuals whose jobs are being terminated was distributed to those at the meeting.
Jim Smith, a vocal school-board critic who is seeking to oust Keith Lilly from the board in the November elections, called Thursday’s meeting an example of “the arrogance of this board.”
He criticized the board for holding the meeting at noon, “when everybody’s at work and can’t attend.” He also complained that the board did not have an agenda ready at the start of the meeting, and went into executive session at the beginning and again at the end of the meeting.
The board convened about 12:15 p.m. and immediately went into executive session to discuss personnel. The board reconvened at 12:35 p.m., quickly approved the financial proposals and went back into executive session at
12:48 p.m.
“We will not take any more action when we get out of executive session,” said board President Jeanine Donaldson.
The job cuts the board still plans to make are expected to save the school district about $4.5 million a year.
On June 5, the board slashed 246 of 714 teaching positions to avoid a year-end shortfall of $4.75 million. Those cuts, coupled with 26 retirements, will reduce the budget by $12.5 million.
Contact Bette Pearce at 329-7148 or bpearce@chroniclet.com.

Who is affected?
The next round of job cuts at Lorain City Schools will include nine from administration,
15 cleaners, 13 custodians,
28 paraprofessionals (teacher aides), nine health professionals, nine media clerks, four secretaries and
14 other secretaries and paraprofessionals not represented by a union. Administrators losing their jobs include:
* Francie Watson, director of middle schools, $96,976
* Anne Musil, director of elementary schools, $99,425
* Mike Smith, operations manager, $75,177
* Chuck Devore, building and grounds supervisor, $58,173
* Amy Gioffredo, accounting manager, $48,189