About 90 Rome school district teachers have received notices of potential layoffs for the next 2019-20 school year, district Superintendent Peter C. Blake said today.
The notices, in relation to the proposed 2019-20 district budget that is still being reviewed and would take effect July 1, were required to be sent by April 15 under a contractual agreement with the Rome Teachers Association union.
However, Blake emphasized the layoff notices reflect a “worst-case scenario” and the actual teacher layoffs could be significantly lower, in the range of about 40, if the budget in its current proposed form passes.
Blake said the number of layoff notices does not take into account the potential reinstatement of some teacher positions which had been part of proposed budget reductions, as cited in his blog Sunday on the district website; the blog referred to 17 elementary AIS (academic intervention services) teachers, seven elementary classroom teachers, and five elementary library media specialist positions that could be reinstated based on additional state financial aid that has been provided. Among other factors that could affect the
layoffs are retirements of teachers.
“If nothing changes” in the current budget proposal and there are “no more retirements” or “no concessions” plus the proposed reinstatements occur, there would be about 40 layoffs, Blake remarked. He previously has referred to discussions with employee unions regarding seeking possible wage freezes or benefit plan adjustments.
The issues are due to a financial crunch facing the district’s proposed 2019-20 budget of $114.67 million. Blake on March 28 had proposed about $10.1 million in reductions to help balance the budget, including elimination of about 115 overall staff positions in districtwide job categories through attrition and potential layoffs. The approval of the 2019-20 state budget a few days later provided more financial aid to the school district than previously projected.
Among the staff reductions proposed on March 28 were 47 positions in AIS; nine secondary school positions; eight elementary school positions; seven elementary librarians; five instructional coaches; three teachers on special assignment; two positions in administration; five teaching assistants; two typists; two security positions; a nurse-float position; a PC specialist.
In an upcoming administrative vacancy discussed today by the Board of Education’s personnel committee, Staley Elementary School Assistant Principal Randi Aubertine is resigning effective June 30. Blake said the position probably would not be filled due to budget considerations. Aubertine had joined the district effective last July 1 after previously being an assistant principal in Tulsa, Okla., and had grown up in the Syracuse area. She plans to return to Oklahoma, said district Director of People Operations Geoffrey Morton.
The Board of Education is to adopt a proposed 2019-20 district budget by April 23. It would be subject to final approval by district voters in the May 21 election.