The Shelton School District is facing a nearly $5 Million deficit for the 2019-2020 school year and plans to reduce its number of para educators.
In an email Tuesday night, Superintendent Dr. Alex Apostle explained that much of the deficit is due to anticipated cost increases to the school district “related to the new School Employee Benefit Board (SEBB) health care plan, the loss of local levy funds, and other costs that are anticipated to exceed available revenues.”
Dr. Apostle also wrote, “The District must adjust to these deficiencies while continuing to move the school district into a 21st century model that supports academies, career-connected learning, increased mental health programs, and the restructuring of our schools in terms of age-appropriate environments and instructional programs.”
As a result, the school board approved a resolution Tuesday night to implement a Reduced Educational Program while doing everything possible to maintain current teacher-student ratio and ensure program efforts continue successfully.
However, in doing so, the District says “it is necessary to decrease in a variety of areas, including the reduction of para educators in basic education and special education. This decision is in no way intended to minimize the value of providing assistance to our teachers, but we need to reduce the number of paras considerably due to new budget parameters.”
Dr. Apostle’s email also included an “Anticipated Budget Cuts Q&A” document which shows how the District will decrease expenditures and how 64 para educators/para techs will be reduced.
According to that document (click the “Download” button above to view), of the 64 positions, 47 positions are “temporary status – meaning they were posted and hired as temporary for this year only and will not be re-posted or re-hired for the 2019-20 school year. The remaining 17 positions would be reduced through the Reduction In Force (RIF) process as outlined in the Educational Support Personnel (ESP) bargained agreement.”
The District send out RIF notices as soon as possible but says “out no later than the last day of school…”