School Board Approves 11.3M Budget/ In Dialogue with Teachers

The Woodstock School Board has approved a Fiscal 2014 budget of $11.3M.

The School Board says within that budget there is still room for changes in where cuts may be taken.

The School Board says it has asked for a proposal from the teacher’s union concerning the possibility of offering early retirement to some teachers as a possible way to circumvent layoffs for others.

This follows extensive testimony on the subject from students, teachers, parents and Woodstock citizens, many who questioned the manner in which the cuts were made. The School Board Finance Commitee’s Jay Leiter and WUHS Principal Greg Schillinger defended their decisions as necessary and based on contractual requirements for seniority.

They specifically avoided questions about the lack of math skills exhibited by Woodstock Union High School students saying they are addressing those math issues at lower class levels so the layoff of a high school math teacher is still necessary.

3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Diane on January 16, 2013 at 21:14

    How did the principals defend their pay raises? How do we recall the school board?

    WEB Reply: They said they were getting the same cost of living increases as the teachers. However, they never really answered the question as to why there is an extra $50K in their line item. Something about they are no longer in the teacher column mumbo-jumbo. It seemed to satisfy the questioner.

    The School Board, in almost every instance, blamed this all on the Teachers’ Union. It’s their contract, they said, that requires seniority of “last in/first fired.” Except for Alita Wilson they took no responsibility for their role. “Our hands are tied, ” is pretty much their response.

    However, they failed to address the issue that it was Principal Schillinger, as an administrator, who did make the decisions about the cuts in departments — those decisions are not spelled out in any contract that we know of.

    We also understand that some School Board members were “blind-sided” by the specifics of such people as “teacher of the year” being cut. They claim they just do it by the numbers so didn’t know who was going to be cut. WEB

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  2. Posted by Diane on January 16, 2013 at 23:04

    Thank you for your response. I am frustrated that I could not attend. How do we commence a recall vote of the school board? I plan to contact the VT dept of education for possible assistance with this matter. Diane Weiner

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  3. Posted by Russell Pejouhy on January 17, 2013 at 08:09

    Rather than a recall vote, how about finding individuals who know something about public education, finances, and management and have a grasp on the importance of educating young people to run for school board when terms expire.

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