Copiague schools cut 54 staff members, warn move could be permanent without federal aid
Copiague's school district announced dozens of staff cuts just days before classes begin, a heart-wrenching decision for parents and school leaders alike.
Copiague parents reacted with shock and worry to the announcement of 54 staff cuts in the district. At a public meeting Wednesday, the Board of Education read the long list of jobs slashed.
"They're going to suffer. They're not going to get what they're entitled to," says Mike Higgins.
The district says it was forced to eliminate 28 teachers and dozens of custodial, security, teaching assistant and administrative positions due to a lack of state aid due to the pandemic.
Copiague Superintendent Kathleen Bannon said laying off so many staff members was heartbreaking.
"It was one of the hardest things that I've had to do in my career is to do something like this, because it's not the best for our students," says Bannon.
State aid was cut by 20%, which makes up to close to 50% of the district's revenue budget. Copiague Board of Education President says a 20% cut equates to nearly $13 million slashed.
The district says without intervention from the federal government, the reduction could potentially become permanent. They're urging parents to call on their congressional representatives to secure those funds.