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Schuylkill County News

15 Teachers Plus Staff and Education Program Cuts Proposed at Pottsville Schools

teacher cuts at pottsville

teacher cuts at pottsville

We’ve got more details on the proposed cuts at Pottsville Area School District.

In addition to the sports programs facing the ax for the next school terms, 15 teachers, several education programs, and more staff members also face job losses or reductions.

Massive Cuts to Pottsville Area School District Teachers, Staff, Programs

The Pottsville Area teachers union spelled out those proposed cuts in a recent Facebook post. Here’s what they’re saying will be eliminated:

Teacher Cuts

The following teacher positions could be cut before the next school term starts:

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  • 1 high school language teacher (German)
  • 4 elementary school teachers
  • 1 elementary special education teacher
  • 1 elementary school nurse
  • 1 elementary school librarian
  • 1 5th grade teacher
  • 1 middle school math teacher
  • 1 middle school English teacher
  • 1 middle school art teacher
  • 2 middle school special education teachers
  • 1 middle school gym teacher

Program, Classroom Cuts

But wait, there’s more. These programs could get cut, too, before the next school term:

  • Library at the elementary, middle, and high schools
  • 1 2nd grade classroom
  • 1 5th grade classroom

Additionally, the school proposes going to half-day kindergarten sessions at John S. Clarke Elementary.

Staff Cuts

Still not enough? Here are more cuts to staff at Pottsville Area School District:

  • 2 custodians furloughed
  • 2 secretaries furloughed
  • 1 mechanic furloughed
  • 13 full-time aides reduced to part-time positions

Remember, these cuts are in addition to sports program cuts also being considered.

READ MORE: Major Sports Being Cut from Pottsville Area as Fiscal Disaster Unravels

Fiscal Crisis Consuming Pottsville Area School District

These cuts, as they’re listed, are proposed by Superintendent Jeffrey Zwiebel. They’re not official, yet. However, school board members at the district likely will vote on these proposed cuts at their next public meeting on Tuesday, May 12.

The cuts are the result of poor financial management at the school for at least the last 5 years. That’s when Pottsville went from operating comfortably in the black to the deep red. Money disappeared almost overnight and there’s practically nothing to show for it.

Poor hiring decisions and unchecked spending decisions depleted any and all money Pottsville Area had on hand.

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And also consider that these cuts are being done prior to the current school board learning of the financial hit they’ll take from the coronavirus pandemic response. State officials have warned that Pennsylvania is hurting for revenue and budgets across the board likely will be slashed.

The state is the biggest source of income for local school districts. So, these cuts are likely just the beginning.

Attend the Next Pottsville Area School Board Meeting

You can attend the next scheduled meeting of Pottsville Area school directors. Like in April, this meeting is being held on the Zoom video conference platform. In April, the meeting was simulcast on the district’s Facebook page. There’s no word on whether that will happen next week or not.

However, in order to submit comments or questions (that likely won’t get answered) that get read during the meeting, you should watch and participate through the Zoom platform.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. on May 12. In order to watch on Zoom, follow this link:

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That URL allows you to register for the meeting. When you register, you get an email that contains the link to connect to the meeting. Use the Q&A feature to submit a question via Zoom.

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