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Plum school board getting closer to approving teacher furloughs

Michael DiVittorio
| Thursday, April 26, 2018, 11:54 a.m.
Plum School District.
Plum School District.

Furloughs for teachers are in the mix as a way to solve budget woes in the Plum School District.

Business Manager John Zahorchak said after the board voted last week to move forward with furloughs that 25 teachers would be impacted — 12 directly related to the closure of Regency Elementary School at the end of the year.

Superintendent Brendan Hyland in an email sent a day after the meeting would not put a number to how many furloughs are expected.

“The board and the district administration have not determined the total reduction in staff that will be necessary to balance our budget this year,” Hyland said. “We are continuing to explore all avenues to lessen the impact on our district ; therefore we are not prepared to give a final number of reductions until we have concluded our budgetary process.

“The administrative team will share with those teachers who may be impacted by these cuts as soon we possibly can.”

President Steve Schlauch said the layoffs were not set in stone, but that the board must make tough decisions as it struggles to offset a $5 million deficit in the 2018-19 budget.

“Everything is a work in progress,” he said. “We're exploring all avenues to reduce cost and help balance this budget while providing an affordable education for our students.”

The district hopes to save approximately $2.4 million with furloughs and other cuts. Directors at the meeting also eliminated the assistant to the superintendent position held by Michael Brewer and accepted eight retirements and four resignations.

“The specifics of who and when won't be released until the staff is notified,” Zahorchak said about the teacher furloughs. “I think before they see a name on a list, they should be talked to.”

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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