Teacher’s Union Reacts to Possible Layoffs

District offiicals hope hundreds of administrators and teachers sign up for a recently announced termination plan so they don’t have to layoff nearly 1300 teachers and other employees.

The district’s teacher’s union agrees.

Columbus Education Association president John Grossman says 550 district teachers are currently eligible to retire… if each of those teachers opts to take the district’s offer. Grossman says that could significantly help the district’s budget crisis. Grossman says removing the most high income salaried employees from the districts responsibilities could save hundreds younger teacher’s jobs. District officials say 83 percent of their budget is salaries and benefits. Another option the district is likely to propose is closing schools. Grossman says closings are necessary, but not at the expense of successful programs currently in place. Grossman says the union has offered to delay teacher bonuses for achieving better test scores in the classroom. He says removing that option could save nearly 3 million dollars.

Also in the works, the district presenting a November operating levy. Grossman says the district should use the levy as a catalyst to create different programs, create more alternative schools and a science high school. Superintendent Gene Harris says she plans to present a finalized proposal to the board of education at its afternoon meeting tomorrow.