Out of Work: Hundreds of Cleveland Teachers Cut in Effort to Bolster Bottom Line

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The vote happened just before 10PM Tuesday night and the results are not promising.

Hundreds of school teachers will lose their jobs as part of the district's transformation plan.

Cleveland schools CEO Dr. Eugene Sanders is going forward with the plan, deciding to lay off 650 Cleveland school teachers. Sanders says"reality remains 80% of our operating budget remains with our people and the vast majority of these people remain in our school buildings"

This many layoffs would put the student-teacher ratio in Cleveland schools at an astonishingly high 45-1 ratio.

The announcement drew outrage from the crowd. "When does money precede education of our children," said Joyce Royce, an upset teacher. 

In March, the board voted to close 16 schools and buildings throughout the district now it was time to eliminate the jobs.

The union said the district failed to explore creative ways to save money including give backs like healthcare and even salaries.

There is still some hope that through negotiations with the different school teachers and personnel unions, that there will be some savings and they will be able to call back some teachers on a seniority basis.

At the end of the meeting, lists with names were passed out. The decision of who was to stay, and who was to go - had already been made.

Late Tuesday night, CMSD released this press release:

Cleveland School Board Votes on Staff Layoffs to Offset Budget Deficit

Cleveland, Ohio - Tonight, the Cleveland school board voted 6-2 on a resolution to approve the layoff of 773 employees; 545 teachers, 117 classified employees, 67 HS administrators and 44 K-8 administrators. Staff layoffs are required to help offset a projected $52.8 million deficit for the 2010-2011 school year.

The District's Academic Transformation Plan calls for the closing of 15 schools at the end of the current academic school year. As a result of these closings, 322 teacher, administrative and operations positions were eliminated, resulting in a $16.3 million savings. Several weeks ago, district officials announced a 4.62% wage reduction that impacted all 308 at-will and non-union employees, totaling nearly $1.1 million in savings. It is anticipated that the District will utilize an additional $15 million in federal stimulus funding to reduce the projected deficit.

Projected 2010-2011 Deficit (52, 8000, 000)

First Year Savings School Closings 16,300,000

Wage Reduction 1,000,000

Stimulus 15,000,000

Additional Staff Reductions 20,500,000

Total Savings 52,800,000

There are three criteria used in determining layoffs:

* Contract Status (A continuing or limited contract)

* Certification/Licensure

* Seniority

Layoffs were seen in the following categories: Math, Science, Social Studies, English, PreK-8, Art, Music, Foreign Language, Physical Education, Speech/Communications, English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Education and paraprofessionals.

As District officials continue to prepare for a safe end of year, an integral part of preparing for the school year ahead will be ensuring the continued priority of positioning our students for success. This means creating safe school and classroom environments that are conducive to learning, maintaining reasonable class sizes and providing each and every student with the attention and support needed to realize academic achievement.

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