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Posts tagged ‘Board of Finance’

Stamford Teachers Speak Out Against Draconian Cuts During Coronavirus Pandemic

Increased class sizes, the reduction or elimination of positions, including reading teachers, media specialists, technology teachers, social workers, school counselors, EL specialists, and art, physical education, and music teachers as well as security personnel and paraprofessionals are just some of the cuts Stamford Pubic Schools Superintendent Tamu Lucero outlined last night during a virtual Board of Finance (BOF) special budget meeting. Lucero threatened the cuts if teachers refuse to accept $15 million in concessions, including a two-year salary freeze and $4 million in unspecified additional cuts or a 10% increase in the teacher health care premium cost share.

“Penalizing teachers by requiring concessions and eliminating essential positions—including social workers—when we need them more than ever is penny-wise and pound foolish,” said Stamford Education Association President Diane Phanos. “Making drastic cuts is not the right course for our residents or our community during these unprecedented times. When we return to school, our students will need more resources, not fewer, and we have to be prepared to provide remediation and handle students’ emotional trauma caused by the pandemic.”

The SEA successfully organized members to participate in last night’s BOF virtual meeting, with hundreds of teachers among the 800 participants. Despite the record numbers, however, the board allowed only eight participants to speak, cutting off public comment after just 40 minutes. All eight speakers were Stamford teachers who spoke out against the budget cuts, while dozens of others submitted written comments echoing concerns that the cuts would be devastating to students now and in the future, compounded by the trauma and chaos caused by the coronavirus. Read more

Stamford Teachers Voice Opposition to Proposed Budget Cuts

The Stamford Board of Finance met last night to discuss cutting the education budget.

Teachers are working tirelessly to provide distance learning during an unprecedented pandemic and are keeping students engaged and learning while providing a slice of normalcy and stability for them and their families. When schools reopen, students will need additional supports to catch up and deal with the trauma caused by the pandemic. Now is not the time to cut the Stamford education budget and eliminate teachers and resources students need. 

That was the message teachers delivered in the first half-hour of last night’s Stamford Board of Finance meeting. Despite a $14 million budget surplus, Stamford officials are planning to cut the education budget and are asking teachers for concessions and pay freezes or they will eliminate positions and resources and increase class sizes.

The Stamford Education Association (SEA) organized teachers to join the virtual meeting to voice their opposition to plans to cut the education budget and explain why any cuts at this time would be catastrophic for students, teachers, and the district.

SEA President Diane Phanos said that taking a pay freeze will amount to a pay cut for teachers, because health insurance costs will continue to rise while teacher salaries remain stagnant. Read more