Easton School Board Cuts 6 More Jobs
"We have a 6 million dollar deficit, and we’re going to make up 6 million," Easton School Board president says.
After learning Tuesday night that her son had just lost his job with the Easton Area School District, Brenda Messa had a question for the school board.
Where does it end?
The board had just voted 6-3 to cut six more positions at the elementary level: three math interventionists and three reading interventionists.
In the last week, the school board has approved the elimination of 64 positions: 58 last week, six Tuesday night -- on top of the original 102 from May. One of the most recent cuts was Messa's son.
"He was very comfortable when the budget passed a few weeks ago that he had snuck by," she said, referring to the first round of job cuts that accompanied the budget's adoption in May.
"It's very scary and I don’t know where the end is," Messa said.
At first, she got no response from the board, until board member Frank Pintabone stepped in.
"Can we please give the woman in the back an answer?" he asked. "I think she speaks for a a lot of people in the district."
The end might not come any time soon, said Board President Robert Fehnel, who said the cuts were part of "restructuring programs."
"You can expect changes constantly," he said. "We have a 6 million dollar deficit, and we’re going to make up 6 million. It will continue. Next year we're looking $8 or $9 million. And it will continue."
Board member Robert Moskaitis noted that the board has "asked all groups to participate" when dealing with the cuts.
"All groups have, except one," he said, in reference to the Easton Area Education Association, the teachers union.
Union representative Glenda Kellow noted the teachers had given back $28 million last year when they amended their contract.