Northgate slashes 23 teachers, 10 aides for next school year
Despite impassioned pleas from scores of residents, students and alumni, the Northgate School Board on Monday voted to eliminate 23 teaching positions and 10 teachers' aides in the fall.
Superintendent Joseph Pasquerilla recommended the cuts to address a “significant” decrease in enrollment that has occurred over the past decade that threatens the district's financial health.
Some parents felt the elimination of so many positions will have a negative impact on the community.
“You wouldn't take a saw to the main support of your house, so why would you tear into the main support of your community?” said Jerome Lundy, 37, of Bellevue, one of the more than 400 people who showed up at a school board meeting that lasted nearly 31⁄2 hours.
“When you lose 23 teachers and 10 teaching assistants, you're cutting the support systems out of your schools. It wasn't a budget issue. They could have waited,” said Lundy, who has children in ninth, fifth and first grades and one who will enter kindergarten in the fall.
Pasquerilla said the district's enrollment has dipped from 1,644 pupils taught by a staff of 110 teachers during the 1995-96 school year to 1,211 students taught by 115 teachers.
“One of the great things about this district has been that teachers, students and parents really get to know each other,” said Christine Kubicky of Bellevue, who was one of the scores of people who spoke at Monday's meeting. “I don't think they (administrators) understand how intertwined our small communities are with the schools.”
Kubicky, who has children in fifth and seventh grades, thinks the board should tighten spending and even consider increasing taxes rather than cutting jobs.
Mike Bichko, a high school Spanish teacher and vice president of Northgate Education Association, said the union suggested the district offer an early retirement incentive to cut jobs through attrition.
“We feel that there were alternatives that should have been pursued and weren't,” Bichko said. “These cuts will damage the district. It's very disappointing.”
Tony LaRussa is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7987 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Reading Harry Potter provides clues to brain activity, CMU researchers say
- Girl, 12, rescues 4-year-old sister from burning house in Homestead
- U.S. Steel Tower tenants stand to benefit from company’s relocation
- Brentwood police chief to get nearly $200K as part of settlement agreement with borough
- Lower gas prices entice motorists to drive long distances for Thanksgiving
- Judges with Pittsburgh ties enter race for Pa. Supreme Court
- Coaches lead discussions to influence athletes’ attitudes toward women, avoiding violence
- U.S. Steel to relocate corporate headquarters on former Civic Arena site
- Surgery for man shot by Pittsburgh officer on hold amid legal limbo
- State leaders give input on budget woes at Pittsburgh meeting
- Alcoa judgment helps U.S. Attorney’s Office collect 5 times its budget