Bay Shore Schools to lay off dozens of teachers due to pandemic
Bay Shore Schools says it's laying off dozens of teachers due to the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The district says it's anticipating a shortfall in state aid and has been put in the unfortunate position of having to let go valued members of the teaching staff.
According to Newsday, the teachers have been laid off after the district and Bay Shore Classroom Teachers' Association governing board could not come to an agreement on delaying salary increases.
In a statement, the district says in part, "Faced with potential state aid cuts of 20% or more, the Board of Education must fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Bay Shore and Brightwaters, and prepare for the worst-case scenario."
Casey Cusack, who graduated from Bay Shore High School in 2017, says that the community supported her after the death of her father.
Cusack and her mother, Cindy, say thanks to peer support and other school programs, she ended up loving her high school experience despite her personal tragedy.
They say they're devastated to learn some of those programs are being cut.
The Cusack's say they were taken aback and confused after hearing about the cuts a little more than a week after voters passed a budget increase.
Education expert and Bay Shore community member Michael Cohen says he disagrees with the district.
As News 12 has reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says with no money from Congress, he would have to cut police and fire departments' funding by 15% and hospitals and schools by 20% to make up for the billions of dollars in lost tax revenue.
The president of the Teachers' Association tells News 12 in a statement, “These past few months have been hard on the entire Bay Shore community, and we’ve tried to do our part by continuing to teach, ramping up our community service and working with the district to try to address the economic uncertainty we face. But we can’t cut our way to better schools. Every teacher plays an important role and does so because that’s what students deserve. The BSCTA isn’t willing to simply accept the loss of up to approximately 80 educators, between layoffs and retirements, as the end of the line. We remain ready and willing to work with the district to come to a resolution that would address the financial uncertainty every school district faces, while maintaining the excellence we are known for.”