DPS board member explains reasons behind delaying layoffs

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – For many parents and some teachers aides at Dayton Public Schools it’s been a frustrating few weeks. At Thursday night’s meeting, board members postponed layoff discussions until next month.

2 NEWS spoke with school board member John McManus–who says they delayed the layoffs because they weren’t ready.

“We needed more planning,” McManus said. “More study, more community involvement and more employee involvement. This is such a huge decision that in my opinion if it was rushed through it could cause a lot of damage.”

So far, Dayton Public Schools have already laid off about 20 administrative staffers. The cuts are due to low enrollment numbers according to officials. Over the last decade, the district has lost more than 3,000 students.

“The district went around and took a look at every single classroom,” McManus said. “Some classrooms had a teacher with only 5 or 6 kids in it.”

As a result, the district combined some classrooms. Parents, like Janine Jenista, says doing so is disruptive to students, including her 4th grade son.

“They’ve split his class into two,” Jenista said. “The effect it is having on him is physcial. He has been sick. He’s cried himself to sleep a couple nights.”

McManus says making sudden changes in the middle of school year wasn’t something he was on board for. Going forward, roughly 30 positions are at risk of being cut.

“As much as I hope to see that no one does lose their job,” McManus said. “Is it a good possibility that it will happen? In my opinion, yes.”

From now until their next meeting on December 6th, teachers aides will remain in the classroom. During that time, McManus says board members will continue discussions with each other and the community.



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