CMSD announces $66M deficit; recommends laying off 600 teachers - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

CMSD announces $66M deficit; recommends laying off 600 teachers

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CMSD CEO recommends staff layoffs, employee separation plan and facility relocation to address $66 million deficit.

The Board of Education of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District is considering a number of options for addressing the district's $66 million deficit, including recommendations in three key areas presented to them at the Board's regular meeting by Chief Executive Officer Eric Gordon.

"While our Academic Transformation strategies continue to drive our work, we are
exploring options to address our fiscal challenges," said Gordon. "This does not mean
we have to stop working toward these goals, even as we make difficult choices."

Scenarios shared with the Board include Reductions in Force, implementation of an
employee separation plan and a master facilities relocation study, three of six areas the
CEO said would allow the district to meet its legal requirement to enter 2012 fiscal year
without a budget deficit.

"Solutions to our ongoing budget crisis demand not only public accountability but also
adherence to a pledge to resolve CMSD's academic and fiscal problems not with
temporary fixes, but with long-term, sustainable strategies," said Gordon.
In the last two years, CMSD has cut $117 million from its budget in ways the CEO said
have affected staff and operations in every area of the school system.

Recommendations presented to the Board this evening included:

• A reduction of at least 600 teachers and at least 50 members of the district's
support staff.

• A reduction in the number of specialty subject periods, affecting art, music,
physical education and library/media. Although students will continue to
receive instruction in these specialty areas, there will be fewer opportunities to
do so. As a result of this change, core subject instructional time would remain
unchanged; all students would continue to be exposed to all specialty subjects;
the school day for K-8 students would be reduced by 50 minutes; and the
teacher day for K-8 buildings would remain the same, thus increasing
opportunities for staff collaboration.

• Implementation of an employee separation incentive program to be offered to
those CMSD employees currently paid from the certified teachers schedule to
minimize the number of reductions in force (RIF) anticipated as part of the budget
plan and to generate savings.

• A consolidation of the Central Administration into one leased downtown office
space, to consolidate Professional Development, Central Command Center and
the Data Center at East High School and to move forward with the sale of
buildings the District no longer needs, to realize a net savings to the district of
approximately $5 million over 5 years, $13 million over 10 years and $54 million
over 30 years.

At its next meeting on April 17, the Board will explore budget reductions, operational
efficiencies and labor negotiations as additional options for reducing the deficit.

Click here to see the Cleveland School Plan.


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