Stratford may cut 59 teachers for next school year

Posted: Updated:
STRATFORD -

Fifty-nine Stratford teachers received official notice Monday evening that they may not see their contracts with the district renewed.

Mike Fiorello is a teacher at Stratford High School and president of the Stratford Education Association. 

"When we faced midyear layoffs, there was a reason: The state had cut some of our education cost sharing," he says. "There was a cause and effect there. We don't really know why this year is different." 

He says the district's human resources told him last Thursday that all of the teachers without tenure would not be asked to return next year. That's more than 120 people.

But yesterday, he says, only about half of them received the notices.

Still, Fiorello says the move is surprising, because teachers and administrators agreed to two unpaid furlough days to both prevent midyear layoffs and help Stratford close its $700,000 deficit.

He says the notices affect every school and teachers of both core subjects and electives. Typically, a handful of untenured teachers find out they're not being asked back, he says, but this number is unprecedented.

And he says such decisions usually come after the Board of Education has a budget, which it doesn't yet. 

"We don't understand," he says. "We don't have that answer yet."

Superintendent Janet Robinson says the budget will likely total about $4 million less than the current situation. She says the district hopes to retain the notified teachers and save money elsewhere.

"It was really our hope that the cuts won't be necessary," she says.

Other solutions include realigning the schools and saving money on busing. In case that plan fails, Robinson says teachers received their notifications to give them time to prepare.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."