EXCLUSIVE: Massive Staffing Reductions Are Coming To The Atlantic City Public Schools System
I have obtained a letter written by Gary McCartney, who is The State of New Jersey's Fiscal Monitor, charged with oversight of The Atlantic City Board of Education and The Atlantic City Public Schools System.
McCartney's task is a daunting one. From numerous interviews that I have conducted, McCartney has done a very good job working with Atlantic City during an almost impossible time of fiscal contraction.
Here is The McCartney letter (and below that is a link to a complete breakdown of each and every one of the 226.5 job cuts as follows:
I'm feeling the press of time as I write given the impending deadlines that are at our door step. Several issues are pertinent to May 15 so allow me to begin there. We have a contractual deadline for notifying Non-tenured staff of non-renewal. If we miss this deadline, the District has, in effect, rehired any individual that survives the deadline. Given this scenario, the affected staff members will be contacted through writing/personal contact to apprise them of the disappointing news. I will provide a list of these individuals, hopefully tomorrow, but the names require no BOE action and will not be published on the agenda. Likewise, we must take action on behalf of affected Tenured staff. The attachment entitled, Total Position Reductions, includes all positions be eliminated (including those held by tenured and non-tenured staff members). A total of 226.5 positions are being abolished. This total includes 32 positions of retirement/resignation. We will need to ask for approval of a resolution to eliminate these positions. I know this will be painful, but without the resources to pay for these positions, the board has no other alternative.
A quick perusal of the list reveals that almost every supervisor position in the District is being eliminated. Obviously,the District will not be able to fully function without some type of supervisory structure so I will work with our Central Office Leadership Team to restructure an administrative approach that will look much smaller and leaner. Given the convoluted nature of bumping rights, this approach offers the greatest latitude for building an effective team. Reductions were made apart from direct instruction classroom teachers wherever possible. While many elementary positions were eliminated, only 21 grade-level classroom teaching positions were abolished. Likewise, at the High School, only 25 direct instruction classroom positions were eliminated, with a mix of retirements and AC East reductions representing approximately half of the loss.
A second resolution will ask for BOE approval to develop and maintain a Seniority List for the purpose of executing an accurate Reduction-in-Force. This process, complete at this point, will allow for the "bumping" process for staff in eliminated positions. Individuals with seniority rights will be able to find other positions in the system for which their certification allows. The third resolution authorizes the creation of a recall list for those tenured staff that lose their position without finding another. The recall list is without a time limit per law.
I will write again tomorrow with additional information.
NOTE: Gary McCartney is The State of New Jersey's Fiscal Monitor, who is directly overseeing the Board of Education and The Atlantic City Public Schools system.
Here is another piece of our Harry Hurley exclusive, as I have received a copy of the list, which details every position reduction that is presently planned. These staffing cuts will be introduced on Monday, May 11, 2015.