Last summer the state of Michigan cut the education funding, so the AAPS board had to cut eight
million dollars from the budget in order to satisfy the state’s cuts. “We had to pass the budget by June
30th and 80% of the district’s money goes into staff,” said Director of Communications Liz Margolis.
The district had to lay off 34 teachers, but because of retirements and resignations, only 1.2 positions (2
teachers) that were previously in the district were terminated: one full time position and one .2 part time
Margolis. This of course meant that on top of deciding who to lay off they also had to decide who to
hire. She also said that in order to be called back the teachers needed to be there for a certain amount
of time. They also needed to be highly qualified in the subject or subjects that they taught.
So why should people at Pioneer care about these cuts? Now that we have fewer teachers, classrooms
are packed, teachers are still adjusting, and the whole school is running around just to get back to
normal. “We’ve been really trying to move as quickly as we can in getting everything back to normal,”
said Pioneer Principal Cynthia Leaman.
Losing 34 teaching positions this meant that classrooms had to increase in population. Class sizes havegone from 2030 kids in the classes last year to 3040 kids this year. “The larger class sizes are a
disadvantage to students,” said Pioneer Junior Grace Lindeman. “Smaller class sizes increase student
Counseling positions were also cut and shifted around. Some are doing part time at one school and part
time at another. Mr. williams was transferred over from Huron to Pioneer. “The only thing that really
changed for me was the physical location,” said Williams.
Williams is not the only case. Marcia Krasko is a special education teacher now at Clague Middle
School. She was called back a week before school started and moved from Skyline High School to
Clague Middle School.
She and her summer vacation took a hit by the layoffs due to the fact that it took all but one week of
summer before she was called back. “I wasn’t sure that I would have a job coming back in the fall so
that was stressful through the summer because the layoffs lasted so long,” said Krasko.
Many teachers, including Krasko, applied for jobs in other districts. “You spend some of your summer
looking for employment and hoping that you would have employment and I did apply for
unemployment,” said Krasko.
With most of the storm weathered, students, teachers, parents, administrators, and district workers alikehope that this is the last of the layoffs especially Leaman. There is a chance, however, it won’t be the
last of the layoffs. “As long as the state continues to unfund,” Margolis said, “we will have to continue to
lay off staff and do more to cut the budget.”