Pottsville Schools Cut Teacher, Nurse Positions
The Pottsville Area school board voted in favor of cutting 2 jobs last week, including a teacher and a nurse.
Directors did not identify which teacher or nurse would be subject to the furlough.
But in voting 7-2 to cut these 2 positions, directors said declining enrollment at Pottsville Area School District – not caused by the COVID pandemic – is the reason for the decision.
Board members Ashley DeWitt and Patrick Moran voted against the majority.
Pottsville Area Cuts Teacher, Nurse Due to “Substantial Decline in Enrollment”
The teacher and school nurse in question refused their right to have a hearing on their proposed job suspension.
DeWitt added that the furloughs approved on Wednesday were a “byproduct of the furloughs” that were recommended at the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
“At that time, I did not support those recommendations and I will continue to stand by my decision,” DeWitt said.
Moran also cited the reasons he gave last year for not approving the resolution to cut these two positions.
Obviously, Pottsville Area believes these cuts are necessary. Less students should equal less teachers and staff. And Pottsville is trying to climb out of a financial hole that’s been dug for years, long enough to attract the attention of the Pennsylvania Auditor General’s office.
The district believes it’s emerging from that financial trouble. Also on Wednesday, board President Bud Quandel reported that, according to an audit conducted on the 2019-20 fiscal year, Pottsville finished that year in the black by +$600,000. The district is on track to finish the 2020-21 term with a $1.2 million surplus.
That may be difficult to maintain if the school board moves forward with projects – that will easily reach into the millions of dollars – it says are necessary, including updating HVAC systems at all 3 school buildings as well as fixing the masonry at Pottsville Area High School and improving the condition of parking lots district-wide.
You can watch the full March meeting of Pottsville Area school directors here: