Duluth School Board to vote on teacher cutsThe Duluth School Board will vote next week whether to terminate 14 nontenured teachers.
By: Jana Hollingsworth, Duluth News Tribune
The Duluth School Board will vote next week whether to terminate 14 nontenured teachers.
That’s fewer than last year, when 24 nontenured teachers were terminated in the spring. The district needs to cut about $5.7 million from its operating budget, which will be finalized in June.
The Duluth school district’s human resources manager, Tim Sworsky, told board members Monday night that the terminations were due to declining student enrollment, and amounted to 12.25 full-time employees.
Tenured teacher layoffs will be before the board for approval in June. About 35 teachers will retire after this school year, up about five from last year. Sworsky said last week a couple of those teachers chose to retire this year to save the jobs of others.
Member Ann Wasson, mentioning possible cuts to music and an advanced placement English course at East High School, was concerned about losing teachers at the secondary level, where the lure of such classes brings students into the district.
“We’re talking about marketing and keeping families here,” she said. “Some of those things … are what draws them in.”
Wasson and chairwoman Judy Seliga-Punyko said it would be difficult to support such cuts.
The board briefly discussed the contract for I.V. Foster, whom the board selected last month as its new superintendent. Work by administration, Seliga-Punyko and board clerk Tim Grover already has begun on the contract, they reported. Member Mary Cameron said it was inappropriate that she wasn’t involved in beginning stages of developing the contract, as she has been involved with every other superintendent contract, she said. Wasson, Gary Glass and Art Johnston said they’d like to be involved, too. Sworsky said the contract template varied little from Keith Dixon’s.
A vote on the contract is scheduled for May 17. Foster, a Markham, Ill., superintendent for the K-8 Prairie-Hills district, replaces Dixon, who retires June 30.