New Haven Public Schools is looking to reduce its number of teachers, but they are trying to do so without layoffs.
Many teachers, parents and students took to the streets Monday to say it’s still a mistake.
“I'm afraid that the quality of education that students are getting is going to go down severely,” said Benie N’Sumbu, a New Haven student.
That’s a concern many others share. More than 100 students, parents and teachers came out to demand no more cuts.
Last week 53 employees, most of them classroom teachers, learned their positions were being eliminated.
The superintendent said they’re not being laid off, but reassigned. There are 80 other teaching vacancies in the district, and they’ll get first pick.
“I'm one of the 53 teachers who were selected for reassignment,” said Angie Catalano, a Hill House High School English teacher.
Catalano said she’s a tenured English teacher and the only multi-lingual teacher in the department.
“For me to teach English learners, it's come in very, very handy, so I just question why I would be selected,” she said.
“The teachers that were identified, they were identified because of the enrollment numbers in their schools,” explained Dr. Carol Birks, New Haven Public Schools superintendent.
Birks said working with the schools, principals identified the positions that could be reduced without impacting education, but noted that tough decisions need to be made.
“We have a budget deficit. We've been very transparent and direct with the board as well as the community where we are fiscally,” Birks said.
She said cutting the 53 positions will save $3.6 million, less than half of the $12 million in staff savings they need to get to.
But those at Monday’s rally said any cuts that hit the classroom are the wrong move and teachers should be able to stay where they are.