Middletown school board eliminates 27 positions in final round of reductions

The Middletown School Board voted to eliminate 27 teacher positions during its board meeting Monday night, the final round of reductions for this year.

The school board is trying to reduce its budget by $9 million over three years. The district will start the 2011-12 school year with a savings of $5 million.

A total of 65 teaching, administrative, and support staff positions have fallen victim to budget reductions since March.

In addition,  Verity Middle School was closed; all seventh and eighth grade students will go to Middletown Middle School. Highview Elementary School students were disbursed to other area elementary schools. The building is being repurposed to be the Highview 6th Grade Center, which will house all sixth grade students and staff.

Other reductions in budget include 55 employees who participated in an early retirement incentive program, and another 27 employees who retired without incentives. The district has agreed to outsource transportation services.

The Board of Education and the Middletown Teachers Association have tentatively agreed to a three year contract that includes a one percent decrease in pay for teachers and administrators for each of the first two years.

The agreement also increases teacher's cost of health care by 5 percent the first year and another 5 percent in the third year of the contract. By the end of the three years, the district will save another $4.1 million because of this agreement.

"Our employees have gone above and beyond the call of duty. On behalf of the board of education I commend them for their dedication and commitment to the Middletown community," said superintendent Greg Rasmussen. "At the end of the three year contract, the district will have saved $4.1 million. This will allow the district to continue best practices for our students."

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