Thursday, April 3, 2008

News of the Cutbacks

At the request of one of the readers, here is a place to communicate facts about actions being taken by the District leadership to enact the $4 million in budget cuts they told us would need to take place if the levy failed.

Hopefully, this week's editions of the Hilliard Northwest News and This Week Hilliard (and maybe even the Columbus Dispatch) will contain stories about the cutback decisions, but I haven't seen anything in the online editions yet. When stories are posted in any of the papers, I'll put appropriate links here.

Please post only facts you know first hand -- no rumors or gossip please!



  1. Scoop: For the purposes of this post, I've edited your comment down to the facts:

    Scoop said:
    - 40-some teaching positions eliminated
    - All noon-aides let go
    - Guidance counselors getting hit too. Not sure if all of them are going, but I know many have already been told
    - Expect more teaching eliminations in secondary as all cuts to date have been in primary
    - No admin positions eliminated at this point in time


  2. My daughter told me the teachers have taken over the duties of the noon aides. Does anyone know how they are being compensated for this extra duty? I would assume it would be more expensive than the salary of a noon aide.


  3. Edjr
    No compensation. It's considered a part of special duty. It means a reduced lunch period (10 minutes total lunch time) for those lucky enough to draw this duty.

  4. Noon aides? My daughter tells me they
    are basically babysitters, so it seems a good place to start. I have also heard some outrageous pay levels for them but don't have the facts so won't post what I heard, although I sure am curious how many and how much it will save.

  5. Noon-aides are essentially bus drivers that supplement their incomes and reduce the "dead time" between routes by monitoring the lunch rooms.

    I honestly don't know what they make, but I had heard it is in the $10-$12 dollar range. There are 2 per school (elementary only) for 2 hours a day. Simple math says that's about $123K.

    Assuming they make "tutor pay", which would be worse case, that's about $22/hr.

    2 Aides x 2 hours x 14 bldgs x $22/hr x 184 days equals $226K.

    So, every little bit helps, but that isn't a tremendous amount of savings. Two of the Seven Curriculum Coordinators would be more than that.

    But, at least it's not a cut that directly impact the education of the children. I will applaude that.

  6. According to BOE minutes, 2 noon assistants approved for work for 1/2008 those at Step 11 (whatever that is) is $18.86/hr and another at Step 7 is $17.83/hr.

    So the cost is approximately $18/hr or less.

    Page 3...

  7. Scoop: How can you lose your lunch for a "special duty"? Lunch is a guaranteed contract provision. Those who are losing their lunch should pursue this with the HEA.

    Hillirdite: Noon aides might be basically babysitters, but do you really want your daughter or son out at recess with no adult supervision? Or maybe you would like to become a parent volunteer for recess duty or organize a group who will do it for free? Just what solution are you proposing? Surely you are not begrudging teachers their 30 minutes of lunch/restroom/phone call time out of an otherwise very full day?

  8. Scoop:
    My daughter goes to Davidson and tells me THEY have noon aides; is she wrong about that? Because if she is right, I stand by my babysitter comment, especially as I would have to assume ALL the schools have them. I don't recall noon aides when I went to school; but then I went to Columbus Public.And the hourly rate I heard was $19.00. Of course if I am wrong about the staffing level, I will stand corrected. And no, I do NOT expect teachers to give up their lunch period for added duties, and I am 100% sure the union would not allow it anyway. Can you define "special duty" for us?
    On another note, I heard yesterday that administrator bonuses were being handed out. Whether deserved or not, where is the room in the deficit budget for that?

  9. I don't know want to answer for scoop, but the contract says teachers are given 30 minute lunch periods.

    However, I know my wife is a teacher and she has lunch duty. There are a lot of "duties" like that. I think it's on a rotation basis so it's not all that intrusive. But, there is bus duty (before and after school), recess duty, lunch duty, and other duties that are staffed on a building-to-building basis.

    I know when I drop my daughter off there are at least 3 teachers making sure the kids get into the building safely.

    We all do non-funded mandates, and for the most part its just expected. But it is interesting that the contract calls for 30-minute lunches, yet most teachers accept these duties anyway. I guess they aren't ALL bad.

  10. I think you must be talking about the hall monitors at Davidson. I don't think the high schools have noon aides, but they do have hall monitors. I do see your point, in that case, about babysitters; however, given the overcrowding in both buildings right now, life without hall monitors could be miserable for everyone: with a likely increase in fights and kids cutting class, most likely. I believe hall monitors were hired to remedy those issues. In the days where each teacher had his/her own classroom, it was easy to simply stand watch in the hallways between classes. In today's environment, teachers are often more likely to be moving through the crowded hallways on carts, trying to get to their next available class location to teach. This makes monitoring hallway situations tricky at best. In a perfect world, high school students would not need close supervision during class changes. Spend a day in a high school these days, though, and you will quickly see why hall monitors were hired!

  11. I stand corrected regarding noon aides. But if we are paying $18 an hour for hall monitors, I still have a problem. But I don't want to go off-topic in this thread, other than to say I guess we would not need them when Bradley opens and cuts down on the load on the other two schools?

  12. Teachers will not be compensated for this extra duty. According to the contract teachers must have 1/2 hour for lunch. The teachers at my child's school currently have 45 minutes. But, this 45 minutes usually includes dealing with discipline issues, preparing for the afternoon lessons, meeting informally with other teachers to discuss curriculum, etc. So, even though it seems to an outsider that the noon aides don't make a difference, they allow the teachers to spend time on these other activities that do impact the classroom atmosphere and in turn affect learning. I'm not saying they shouldn't be cut. Just understand they do make a positive difference in our schools and they will be missed. They will be missed not only for how they help the teachers, but for the relationships they have built with the students.

  13. Good Afternoon,

    This evening, we will be presenting to the Board of Education the list of spending reductions necessary to balance the budget in the 2008-09 school year. Below is the press release that will be shared with the media.


    Reductions Necessary to Balance Budget for 2008-09 School Year

    (Hilliard City School District, Hilliard, Ohio) – The Hilliard City School District announced today approximately $4.5 million in spending reductions for the 2008-09 school year.

    “We are living in a very challenging economic climate, and school districts are not immune to these difficult times,” Superintendent Dale McVey said. “With the failure of the operating levy in March, we must make significant cuts to balance the budget in the coming year. The cuts will be implemented across all classifications, including administrators, teachers and support staff. The most significant changes parents and residents will see from these reductions will be larger class sizes and fewer educational offerings in the coming fall.”

    The spending reductions will begin with the 2008-09 school year. Over the coming year, reductions will include 5 administrative positions, 38 teaching positions across all grade levels, 50 support positions, the elimination of several educational programs, and 5% cuts from each department and building. An extra $247,000 in reductions will be taken from central office budgets.

    The upcoming reductions are in addition to the nearly $11 million in cuts that have been implemented in the Hilliard City School District over the past five years.

  14. About 5-8 teachers from Washington Elementary were told their contracts would not be picked up next year. I know this because they were having a couple drinks in Mel's Grill on Friday night and I was in having dinner with my wife. They were a little loud but in good spirits. I don't think I would have been in the same mood if I was told I was fired!

    Also, McVey's comment "The most significant changes parents and residents will see from these reductions will be larger class sizes and fewer educational offerings in the coming fall.”

    What does "fewer educational offerings" mean? I've heard this threat before...

    There are lunch aides and recess aides in many school districts in New Jersey (My mother and sister were both lunch aides). They usually are there to help teachers with discipline in the lunchroom, playground and large assemblys. They are glorified babysitters, but they are usually outnumbered 50 to 1!

    I noticed that no admin positions have been cut...yet. They are usually the last to go but before sports and music get cut!