Niagara Gazette


March 19, 2013

District losses revealed|10 teaching positions, retirees on chopping block as Lew-Port continues budget talks


Niagara Gazette — Lew-Port United Teachers President Kevin Jaruszewski said he's spent hours looking at the numbers this year and was informed of the actual positions Tuesday. He said nothing makes sense to him anymore.

What's worse is he knows the people who will be without a job assuming these cuts go through and are approved when voters hit the polls in may to decide on the budget. He has a copy of the seniority list, which will be used to determine who stays and who doesn't.

It hurts him, he said.

"Now, seeing the positions, I'm starting to put the names to the cuts," he said. "Some of them were here (Tuesday) and they know they're low on seniority. We've lost more than 30 people in the last three years. Now we're going through this?"

Though the board has yet to identify ways to overcome the deficit it faces, one possibility remains as long as New York state continues down its current path. Board president Jodee Riordan said overriding the state's tax levy threshold is one option the board is exploring, though tentative information and no approved state budget make it impossible to speculate, she added.

"This is the first time we're seeing the information (about the layoffs)," she said. "We're still processing the information. Is it a possibility? Yes. But we're still waiting for more information about the state budget. We still have a lot of things coming up."

If Lew-Port were to exceed the cap, which is 4 percent next year according to the state's formula, it would require 60 percent of district votes favoring the plan in the May election, something neighboring district Niagara-Wheatfield tried and failed at last May.

The board has tentatively called its next budget workshop to continue to deliberate the numbers for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday inside the board meeting room of the community resource building, 4061 Creek Road, Porter.

mug - Roser, Chris Christopher Roser More cuts to come

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