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30 Port Chester Teachers Get Pink Slips

Port Chester schools face a $2.1 million budget deficit.

Friday brought bad news for more than two dozen teachers in Port Chester schools.

In all, 30 school employees received "Reduction In Force" letters from their principals and managers. Their jobs were eliminated in the school district's preliminary budget as part of an effort to cover a for the 2012-2013 school year.

The early budget draft is $80,897,493, up more than $1.3 million from last year.

School pink slips differ from private-sector termination letters in that they aren't set in stone until the Board of Education presents its final budget to voters. That won't happen until after April 1, when New York State's budget is due.

That gives the district less than a month to find funds to save those positions and avoid other major cuts.

Parents, teachers and taxpayers are in the third month of an aggressive to . In addition to sending thousands of letters as of earlier this month, some have traveled to Albany to personally lobby on behalf of Port Chester schools.

On Monday, school board member Bob Johnson returned from a lobbying trip to Albany, and teachers are organizing groups to visit state representatives.

The Board of Education will convene for a special meeting this afternoon, possibly to renegotiate with the Port Chester Schools Administrators and Supervisors Association.

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JJ March 13, 2012 at 01:11 PM
I hope they talk to their Union representatives for an answer on this tragic situation. Maybe some of the "older" teachers who have been eligible to retire for years can "retire" to give these teachers a job? NEVER HAPPEN; THE ECONOMY STINKS AND NOBODY IS MOVING. So much for professional loyalties & Union solidarity. Sad because Teachers are a vital part of Society but this noble profession has become a BIG business / voter block. The well is dry folks...............welcome to the "new" America.
JJ March 13, 2012 at 01:55 PM
Mr. Johnson.........great update. It still sits with the rank & file of the Union and what they'll do. Why NOT address that issue in depth too?
Robert Johnson March 13, 2012 at 02:05 PM
I am back from Albany where I met with about ten House and Senate members on a range of issues, including mandate relief. Although they listened carefully to my story and I could tell that they are empathetic to our plight, I am not feeling confident that, as a group, that they understand the "educational insolvency" we are facing. We are fortunate that PC is represented by Assemblyman George Latimer. Mr Latimer gets it. He has been working tirelessly on the behalf of PC residents. Although he represents other school districts in our area, he assures me that Port Chester schools are his number one priority. Although he meets regularly with board members here in the district, yesterday, while a full session was in progress, he made it a point to meet me off the floor outside assembly chambers. He told me that there are indications that the legislature might provide PC with some increased aide, but he is not sure that it would be enough to cover the budget gap and save our full day Kindergarden. Mandate relief is NOT provided in either the Senate or the House budget bills.
George Latimer March 13, 2012 at 04:20 PM
The proposed 2012-13 New York state budget has set aside for $250 million in aid to be used for competitive grant allocations among school districts. While the concept of competition for resources can motivate districts to identify innovative solutions and strategies to improve educational performance, there are districts in great need of merely maintaining their existing base of services to students. Port Chester is one such school district. May I ask your support in securing an additional allocation of $2 million for the Port Chester School District for 2012-13, understanding that the requirements for that allocation would meet the necessary standards to be set by the State Education Department and the Governor to merit that revenue. I would be pleased to expand on this request with further details as may be desired. GEORGE LATIMER Assemblyman, 91st A.D.
George Latimer March 13, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Here is my letter on behalf of Port Chester schools - George Latimer Hon. Sheldon Silver, Speaker New York State Assembly I am writing on behalf of the Port Chester School District, located in my Assembly District, which is facing a significant budget gap in their proposed 2012-13 academic year budget of approximately $2.35 million. The impact of this gap on the education of the children of the district cannot be understated, if additional revenues cannot be secured. To close this gap without added aid, and restricted by the tax cap put in place last year, class size (already above 30 students in many classes) will significantly increase. School staff, support personnel and teachers will have to be terminated; programs in arts, athletics and other fields will be in jeopardy. While located in Westchester County, a suburban county with high-level income demographics, the Village of Port Chester is a densely-populated urban community with a large population of Hispanic residents, and an even larger percentage of minority students. The 2010 census, I believe, undercounted the village, as it did in other urban centers of the state; the on-going immigrant inflow from other countries has brought added pressure on the Port Chester School District, to educate populations of school children who are recent arrivals to our country, and who need assistance in English and greater support services in education in general to succeed.
duckedover March 13, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Not only were the teachers cut, what about 14 teacher aides, one teacher assistant and one nurse. Of course CSEA takes a back seat, just wanted to state that the PCTA wasn't the only unit to take the hit.
Conservative NYer March 13, 2012 at 11:53 PM
"...the on-going immigrant inflow from other countries has brought added pressure on the Port Chester School District, to educate populations of school children who are recent arrivals to our country, and who need assistance in English and greater support services in education in general to succeed.""
JJ March 14, 2012 at 12:01 AM
BINGO!
Conservative NYer March 14, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Notice an entire paragraph is dedicated just to that issue alone/problem/debate or BOHICA of a debacle!!! (And all taxpayers of course!)
Aidan March 15, 2012 at 01:37 AM
My heart goes out to these teachers. I was in similar situations at the outset of my career. It is plain old rough on the spirit and stomach churning for many who are just getting their professional life underway. But my colleagues sacrificed for me. And I've never forgotten their generosity nor their complete empathy for me and the others. I understand that the union does not want to dance to the give-back tune. But the union leadership is way off the mark if they think this is some passing moment. It isn't. And they'd be a lot better off ... and so would the rank-in-file ... if they assessed the reality fairly. This entire structure of funding public education is broken. It's doomed. No BOE can expect taxes to rise and rise without public whiplash. There is a breaking point ... and it is here. Now the union and the BOE ... together ... have a moment of realism to deal with. Forget what other districts do ... or won't do. The only focus point should be the children we need to educate ... and the similar well-being of those who pay for that effort. Everyone else in this equation occupies a secondary place. Schools exist for the youngsters ... and their existence is financed by the citizens. Those who carry out the mission do so because of those two segments of Port Chester. It is the job of those who deliver the mission to understand that they are employed to satisfy both groups. That has been lost for too long.
Jesus Combs March 15, 2012 at 05:31 AM
I think if Port Chester got rid of the illegals & the bad teachers, they would have to use one school building. That would save the school district a lot of money.
Conservative NYer March 17, 2012 at 01:07 PM
My friend just lost her job at IBM where she worked for 25 years who paid into HER health benefits herself (like most Americans do who work for large and small corporations), 401K, etc. Where's her pension? She gets a general package and that's it. Thank you BYE, BYE. The days of teachers not paying into their health plans, retirement, etc. are GONE!!. People DO NOT have the money TO SUBSIDIZE other people's pensions, healthcare and pensions. The sooner people come to this realization the better. Why not have people who ACTUALLY have children that attend the PCSD to put in more $$$ (and for every child you have you pay X amount more) since they are the ones who are utilizing the schools on a yearly basis as opposed to those who have no children like seniors or those who don't use the public school system and place their children elsewhere.... Easier said than done because everyone WANTS WHAT IS THERE'S or what THEY THINK THEIR ENTITLED TO............
Sam22 April 28, 2013 at 09:30 PM
"Illegals"?!? Is that like the "Jews" in the 1930's, or the "*iggers" of the 1950's, or the "commies" of the 1980's? People aren't "illegal". Actions are. I think you're referring to undocumented immigrants.

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