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  • Cleveland Schools Making Big Cuts

    [caption id="attachment_5029" align="alignleft" width="229" caption="Cleveland Schools Making Big Cuts"]Schools[/caption]

    Cleveland Schools are making big cuts. Just recently, Cleveland Schools laid off 75 security guards as part of a $13.2 million budget cut. Patrick O'Donnell of The Cleveland Plain Dealer discusses further:

    The Cleveland school district on Thursday laid off 75 safety and security guards as part of $13.2 million in budget cuts the school board approved in October. The district will also not fill 18 vacant security positions to reach its goal of $888,000 in savings from the safety and security budget. Although the cuts will cost the district nearly a third of its security officers, they primarily hit part-time officers while the full-time security workforce remains mostly intact.

    Officials of Teamsters Local 436, which started representing the employees earlier this year, said the layoffs hurt the district's ability to protect students.

    "It makes every school more dangerous and makes it more difficult for teachers to focus on teaching," said union lawyer Brian Smith.

    District spokeswoman Roseann Canfora said the district takes several steps to protect students in addition to having the officers -- requiring student identification badges, using metal detectors and controlling visitors to schools. The district on Thursday started monitoring schools more with closed-circuit television and having mobile and gang units visit schools more often.

    Canfora said the district will still have at least one officer at every school covering kindergarten through eighth grade and will have an average of five officers in high schools.

    "Even with necessary reductions in our security staff, our safety teams will continue to work closely with local authorities to maintain a safe and secure environment in every one of our schools," Canfora said.

    Smith said that Thursday's cuts will remove 25 of the district's 181 full-time, in-school officers while not filling two open full-time positions. The district is also cutting 50 of the 65 part-time officers and not filling 16 open part-time positions.

    The school board in late October approved $13.2 million in budget cuts to offset a loss in state funding and the rehiring of nearly 300 teachers the district had laid off in the spring. Right after the vote, the district began trimming some administrative costs, but the security cuts and a reduction in school lunch choices did not start until Thursday.

    Read more at The Cleveland Plain Dealer

    Filed under: Forest Hill News & Events
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