Burlington Teachers Prepare For Cuts

Published 03/21 2014 10:18PM

Updated 03/21 2014 10:33PM

BURLINGTON, Vt. - This will be a tough weekend for dozens of Burlington teachers.

That's because they will be learning if their job might soon be cut and what might happen next.

"There's a lot of anxiety and stress about what could potentially be coming down the road," says Bob Abbey, president of the Burlington Education Association.

This all comes after Burlington voters shot down the school budget on Town Meeting Day. Now school district leaders are drafting a new budget, which includes one-point-five million dollars in cuts to jobs and programs.

Abbey says teachers are worried about possible cuts. 48 jobs have been targeted and there's long list of possible programs to trim, from kindergarten to coaches to afterschool programs.

"The cut list is as large as it is because we really have to look at all those different options," says Jeanne Collins, superintendent of the Burlington School District.

Collins says by delaying some work at schools the number of jobs cut could be far less than feared.

"I think we can get down to 10 or 12 positions. Depending on what other recommendations are accepted by the board. We already know from the first budget vote that World Spanish will likely be eliminated," says Collins.

World Spanish is a program in the elementary schools. Collins also is eying cuts to teachers at the high school which she says has seen a drop in student numbers.

While the teachers union is relieved the cuts won't be as deep as first thought, Abbey says any cut will hurt.

"Our concern is this is going to have a huge impact on the students and Burlington families," says Abbey.

Next week the superintendent is expected to present her ideas for cuts to the school board and we should learn the positions and names next week too.

The idea is to move ahead and prepare a budget to go before voters in June.

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