Wed, Sep 03, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

School Board reinstates six teachers

News

School Board reinstates six teachers

SCARBOROUGH — The School Board reinstated six teacher positions out of the 31 that were on the chopping block during a meeting on June 17.

The reinstated positions were made possible when $206,000 was added to salary lines after the Town Council turned down the school's request to purchase laptops for all high school students and provide training for teachers. Other funds were appropriated from an emergency Teacher Accrual Account.

The change will not affect the tax rate.

The six positions are a K-2 consulting teacher, a Blue Point classroom teacher, a K-5 ed tech, a 0.5 middle school art teacher, a 0.4 Wentworth physical education teacher and a 0.5 high school GATES teacher. It also includes $20,000 for weekend custodial coverage.

The total cost of the reinstatement is $221,528.

School Board Finance Committee Chairman Bob Mitchell made the motion during the June 17 meeting to reinstate the first six positions listed on a handout.

Immediately, School Board member Jane Wiseman moved to table the item, stating that she did not have that handout in front of her.

It then became clear that an e-mail had gone out to all the members of the Finance Committee with the list of positions to be considered for reinstatement, but had not gone out to the rest of the board.

"I guess we should have forwarded that to everybody," said Mitchell.

Wiseman agreed.

"Usually when there's something of this magnitude, we have a workshop to discuss it. You're asking us to make a decision when we haven't had a chance to do our homework," she said.

School Board Chairman Brian Dell'Olio said later that he saw the e-mail in question, but had not noticed that it only went to the Finance Committee members. He said he took responsibility for the oversight.

"It certainly wasn't a matter of us trying to exclude anyone," he said.

The motion to table the issue was defeated and the following motion to accept the six position reinstatements was unanimously approved.

Positions still being eliminated under the current budget include two Wentworth classroom teachers, two middle school teachers, two special education teachers, two foreign language teachers, two full-time equivalent music teachers, three secretary positions and a several ed techs, for a total of 27 full-time equivalent positions.

Dell'Olio said the board's decision about which positions to reinstate was made by reviewing administrative recommendations and citizen requests. He said the board tried to spread the money as evenly as possible throughout the system.

"I think the board had a variety of input and that we did the best we could to restore a broad range of positions," he said.

After the decision was made, some board members expressed regret that more could not be done to save the 27 positions still being cut.

"You can't eliminate that many positions without having an impact," said School Board member Christopher Brownsey.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net