Source: Sherman Publications

Cuts OK'd
But no teacher layoff list, despite deadline

by Wendi Reardon

April 13, 2011

Monday's school board agenda was posted at 3:40 p.m., Monday, the day of the meeting, with one addition – approval of next year's budget reductions.

That wasn't enough time for Board Vice-President Susan Boatman.

"This wasn't on the agenda – no eblasts went out to parents," said Boatman, who made the motion to set the item as "discussion" instead of approval.

That motion was defeated, 4-2. Boatman and board Secretary Joan Patterson voted in favor. Board President Steve Hyer, and trustees Cheryl McGinnis, Barry Bomier, and Elizabeth Egan voted against. Treasurer Rosalie Lieblang was absent

"Our plan has been public for a few weeks now," said Hyer, adding it was enough time for everyone in the community to share their concerns.

He also pointed out it wouldn't be the last time before they approve the budget in June.

Superintendent Dr. Rod Rock said he sent an email to administration and district employees last week saying it would be on the April 11 agenda.

"I had the same concerns when the agenda was posted on Friday (April 1) before spring break," Rock said.

The email wasn't shared with school board members, parents or the community.

Bomier and McGinnis said they weren't surprised, based on the timeline Dr. Rock gave the board.

"I remember Shawn Ryan (deputy superintendent) standing in front of us, talk ing about cuts (last February)," McGinnis said.

Teacher layoffs were not a part of previous presentations because of contract negotiations. Clarkston teachers’contract vote is set for Thursday, April 14. The school board will vote on it after.

The school board must then approve the district's teacher-layoff list by the end of the month. The board has one regular meeting left, April 25. Hyer said he will schedule a special meeting if needed.

The board voted unanimously to approve budget reductions of $642,909 for 2011-2012: reduction of aide hours by 38 percent for $159,000; eliminate two 42-week positions from Clarkston High School and Sashabaw Middle School, saving $61,109; eliminate three elementary-school media specialists, $227,800; cut International Baccalaureate at Clarkston High School, $120,000; cut transportation, $55,000; and $20,000 savings in administration as two elementary principals retire this year. The list doesn not include teacher layoffs.

Human Resources Director Anita Banach said she couldn't start the pink-slip process until the school board approved budget reductions.