'Unfortunate': East Ramapo interim school superintendent discusses cuts to staff, classrooms
News 12 spoke one-on-one with the East Ramapo school superintendent about the upcoming cuts to staff and classrooms.
The district describes its current financial state as unsustainable. It plans to eliminate 32 positions and combine classes to cut costs.
Interim Superintendent Dr. Ray Giamartino says the cuts may include eight vacant positions and up to 20 teachers - but that number not set in stone and could be less.
The district is still deciding which classes and how many will be combined. The superintendent says the cuts are a result of years of overspending, court costs from the NAACP lawsuit and state aid losses.
"It's a horrendous time right now, it's unfortunate. We are all deeply saddened that we do have to make reductions. We've met with our teacher leadership most recently this morning and we are looking to partner and make sure the impact to our students is as limited as possible," says Giamartino.
The upcoming cuts will happen over the next 45 days. The district already reduced the number of assistant superintendents 50% and froze external consultant contracts. No further cuts are expected.
Susan LoRusso, the president of the East Ramapo Teachers Association released the following statement: "The East Ramapo Teachers Association is profoundly disappointed to learn of the District’s plan to make upwards of 32 cuts directly from the classroom. It is devastating that such a large number of teachers will lose their jobs mid-year, which will directly result in students and families suffering as well. Making these cuts in the middle of the school year will disrupt the relationships that have been built between teachers and students over the past five months and will add additional social and emotional strain to students and families already suffering from disruptions caused by COVID-19. Classes will have to be collapsed, creating a ripple effect that negatively impacts far more than the classes of these 32 teachers. Many students will be forced to change their classes and/or teachers mid year. Hundreds of students, families and teachers will be impacted by these cuts in some fashion. It’s disastrous for all involved and we urge the District to reconsider their decision."