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Teacher pink slips loom for Goodrich



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May 16, 2012 - Goodrich-On Monday night the school board is expected to vote on pink slips for 17 district teachers.

"We're actully looking to reduce the staff by 8.5 (teachers)," said John Fazer, district superintendent. "Due to contract requirements and potential bumping options, we have notified more (teachers) than needed to start. The final number of teachers laid off will be based on school enrollment in early August and what Lansing decides this June," he said.

The cuts, which total about $640,000, are necessary to help curb a $1.6 million budget shortfall as the school board works to balance a budget for the 2012-13 school year, said Fazer.

The district labor group responded to the decision.

"The big issue will be the lack of small class sizes and one-on-one help some students need," said Cindy Rivet, Goodrich Education Association president, representing about 110 district teachers. "When you're looking at 30 kids in classrooms there's no one- on-one."

"The high school will have classrooms with 40 students—we'll have a space issue. Will there be students sitting on the floor? That's not the best educational practices—we can't effectivly do our job for the students that need our extra help. Not every student learns in a big classroom setting, there just won't be the time. That means more kids slipping through the cracks."

Rivet said the teachers voted to reduce their MESA insurance rates by 3.5 percent this year.

"That move already saved the district $100,000," she said. "But somehow that's forgotton—we as a group have made other suggestions to save money. I hope the board listens."

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