Staff and Community Update on Staffing Reductions
Because there has been a lot of rumor, misinformation, and speculation that has been circulating regarding the recent reduction in force (RIFs), I would like to provide an update on the situation so everyone has accurate information directly from the source.
At Tuesday’s regular Board meeting, I shared this update
on the Staffing Reorganization and Cost-Savings Plan.
This morning, the district treasurer, board counsel and I met with the Fairview Park Education Association (FPEA) co-presidents and Ohio Education Association (OEA) field representative to review the RIFs, as is required in Article 22 of the collective bargaining agreement. After some discussion, the FPEA approved my request to waive the contractual 7-day delay required by Article 22 between this meeting and notification of the members, so we did not drag out the situation any longer than needed for those directly impacted. I invited FPEA once again to participate in my meetings with the teachers, and this afternoon, FPEA co-president Robin Schlesinger and I met with those who were available so that we could provide them the required notice that board action will occur at the May 21st Regular Board meeting. I apologized for the need to postpone the action to meet contract requirements and for any additional stress and hardship the delay may have caused.
There is one change that has occurred. After multiple discussions regarding the continued need in 3rd grade for additional academic improvement and concerns that were raised regarding possible class sizes in that grade level estimated to be near 25 students per class, I have revised my recommendation for the May 21st Board meeting by removing the RIF of the 3rd grade position. Hence, recommending we remain at six teachers at that grade level instead of reducing to five.
As I mentioned at Tuesday’s Board meeting, please understand that these are incredibly difficult decisions to make, as we care about and value each and every member of our Warrior family. This is the worst part of the work, but we have to balance our budget or we will end up with the financial challenges we see several of our neighboring school districts struggling to fix. I ask that as we go through these difficult times, that everyone try to appreciate the complexity of the situation, accept that we are all trying to do our best for the kids, the district and the community, and be as understanding, considerate and compassionate with each other as possible as we move forward.
Dr. Bill Wagner, Superintendent
Fairview Park City Schools