School has ended for the year over in East Cleveland. For teachers and staff, however, the last day of the most recent calendar year was also the last time they went into work.
It has been announced that ten of the employees in the district, particularly teachers and other staff workers, were “let go” this past week. The reason is explained as “decreasing enrollment” in the schools.
The news came as a shock to a lot of the longtime employees affected by the layoffs, especially after 17 teachers were laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also shocking that the terminations came on the last day of the school year and many were not told about the changes earlier.
From WKYC 3News Cleveland:
“It hurt,” Quelina Jordan, who lost her job at Shaw High School after 11 years, told us. “If you knew earlier, you could have let us know earlier, and not wait until the last day of school where we even had students in the building.”
The district will receive nearly $19 million in American Rescue Plan funding through September 2024, according to East Cleveland Education Association spokesperson Irene Spraggins. She said that money is intended to prevent layoffs.
Spraggins also adds that there was a “lack of communication between teachers” and Henry Pettiegrew, who runs the school district.
There is still a need for teachers in East Cleveland, especially to help students with the upcoming school year after the last one with virtual classes.
Spraggins adds that the district wants “to work with [students] — smaller class sizes, more resources — so we can really focus on getting them to where they need to be and … push them forward.”
Here is a statement from East Cleveland City Schools:
“On May 25, 2021, the East Cleveland Education Association (ECEA) voted to approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the teacher’s union and administration which updated the reduction in force procedures outlined in the current master agreement. The implementation of this MOU is in direct response to continued decreasing enrollment throughout the East Cleveland City School District. As a result, several teachers across all grade levels were notified both in-person and in-writing that they would be impacted by this decrease in enrollment effective the last day of the teacher contract year.
“ECEA leadership and district administration met to review the reduction and recall list per the master agreement, and teachers were notified prior to the June 1 deadline stated in the Ohio Revised Code.”
Click here to read more.
Article and Video Courtesy of WKYC 3News Cleveland
First Picture Courtesy of Catherine McQueen and Getty Images
Second Picture Courtesy of Julie Lemberger and Getty Images