Cuyahoga Falls -- About 25 Cuyahoga Falls High School students demonstrated in front of the high school Tuesday to protest layoff notifications that were delivered to teachers on Monday.
On May 3, Superintendent Dr. Todd Nichols proposed the reduction in force of 24 teachers as part of a plan to cut approximately $2 million from the 2017-18 budget. The Board of Education is planning to vote on Nichols' recommendations June 7. Delivery of layoff notifications began at the school buildings on Monday.
Students held signs with messages such as "Let them teach," "We stand with our teachers," and "We care about our teachers." The group also chanted "Let them teach!" and voiced their support for laid off teachers by name.
A joint statement issued by the district administration and the Cuyahoga Falls Education Association on the district's Facebook page on Monday afternoon stated that they would not release names of laid off staff members until the Board of Education meeting on June 7.
"[Monday] has been a difficult day as will the next two days," according to the joint statement from the district and the teachers union. "As many of you are aware, the process of notifying certified staff of the reductions has commenced. Administration and Union Leadership have been working on this most unfortunate situation for weeks. After discussing the situation with teachers, they wanted to know as soon as possible. [Monday] was the first day, after the evaluation process, that they could be notified. Careful consideration was given to the entire process and this was the most efficient methodology to notify staff as timely as possible. Any other process would have taken as much as two weeks to notify all staff. That said, the teachers preferred this method of notification."
Nichols' plan is to eliminate by the start of the next school year four certified positions in the elementary schools, 12 in the middle schools and eight at the high school, for a total savings of $1.39 million.He also proposes making $426,922 in cuts to classified staff and supplemental contracts, among other measures.