November 28, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain district brings back 20 teachers

LORAIN — Twenty teachers will be returning to work for the Lorain Schools.District officials on Friday announced the recall of the teachers, who are being brought back using federal grant money.

For the next three years, Lorain Schools will receive $3.4 million annually from the U.S. Department of Education’s program for magnet schools — an award received after the district announced in June that it would layoff 243 teachers to eliminate a massive unforeseen deficit.

The recalled teachers will be placed as follows:

  • Three science teachers at Garfield Elementary
  • One language arts teacher each at Masson and Toni Morrison elementaries
  • Two technology instructors will be at General Johnnie Wilson Middle School
  • Three math teachers at Washington Elementary
  • Two art and two music teachers will be placed at Lowell Elementary and Whittier Middle schools.

 

In addition, six teachers will return as site coordinators for the grants, splitting their time between classrooms and coordinating the grant.

Also on Friday, the district announced that it has chosen Maria Sanchez, former principal at Toni Morrison Elementary, as director of the grant.

Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson said the recalled teachers won’t have their own classes this year. Rather, they’ll be responsible for providing additional help to the students who need it, she said.

Atkinson said the latest round of recalled teachers likely will be the last. In all, 87 teachers have been recalled of the 243 — a third of the district’s teaching staff — who were laid off. The cuts were made to prevent a multimillion-dollar deficit that the district’s new treasurer discovered when he dove into the books.

Still, Atkinson said she’s still exploring how to fill gaps in the schools’ programming next year.

“We will be looking to see how we can strategically get more art and PE teachers for next year,” Atkinson said.

Keith Lilly, school board vice president, said he’d like to see all the teachers get their jobs back, but he worries that a steep drop-off in enrollment will make that impossible.

The next step in fixing the Lorain Schools’ financial problems is getting better grades on state tests, he said.

“We are woefully lacking in math and science, and that’s part of what’s exciting in this grant. We need to shore those areas before we can do anything else,” he said.

Contact Jason Hawk at 653-6264 or jhawk@chroniclet.com.