Woodland Hills teachers, staff plan protest at board meeting | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Woodland Hills teachers, staff plan protest at board meeting

Michael DiVittorio
1812735_web1_Ptr-woodyhighlawsuit-082417

Woodland Hills School District teachers, paraprofessionals and related staffers plan to have a silent demonstration at a school board meeting Wednesday.

Representatives of the Woodland Hills Education Association and Woodland Hills Educational Service Professionals also plan to speak at the voting meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the administration building at 531 Jones Ave. in Braddock.

Pennsylvania State Education Association spokesman Matt Edgell said it’s in response to the board’s actions with the 2019-20 budget, specifically cutting at least 60 staff members.

Edgell said cuts included counselors, social workers, custodians and teachers, which have resulted in larger class sizes and a lack of support for students and professionals.

“We want to draw attention to the issues that face the students and the staff,” Edgell said. “To make sure that the school board and the superintendent know that these are issues that are simply not going to be solved without some major input from the folks who are on the front lines.

There needs to be a level of trust reestablished between the community and the folks that work in the buildings and the administration.”

Woodland Hills ESP President Brian Johnson believes the demonstration will show unity and a need for change.

“A lot of what was done to help students and staff is hurting them instead,” he said. “This has to change.”

School board member Michael Belmonte said he’s aware of the planned demonstration.

“I’m fine with it,” he said. “I think teachers, if they feel strongly about something, should feel comfortable doing something like that, showing support for their colleagues.”

He said the district had to make tough decisions with about a fifth of its budget going to charter schools and about $10 million toward pensions.

“The funding in Pennsylvania (school districts) is so unfair,” he said.

The meeting’s agenda was posted on the district’s website, www.whsd.net, via “Board Docs” under the school board tab.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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.