Board Makes First Move TowardsTonight the Emery School Board voted to start a State mandated process to lay off teachers at Emery High School. The unanimous vote to fire at least six teacher positions came after the Board heard impassioned pleas against the action from several parents. The action initiated tonight will culminate in a March 12th finalization vote by the Board and the actual layoffs would happen in June according to School Superintendent Debbra Lindo.
Board members inveighed against the negative fiscal effects of the cessation of a rental agreement with the Piedmont Unified School District for their use of Emery's middle school facilities, a major source of cash for Emery over the last couple of years.
The School District duly and legally noticed the agenda for tonight's meeting but some parents cried foul for the lack of notification for such an important issue. Indeed, the notification seemed to have been not enough for any of the parents in attendance; they railed against the lack of transparency and candor from the Board regarding the layoffs.
Board member Josh Simon, jarred by the rancor from the crowd tried to mollify the parents, "We're starting a conversation" he intoned. Board President Cheryl Webb highlighted that some of the layoffs are being done in response to "programmatic changes" prompted by the impending start-up of the Center of Community Life building project.
It's Not That Bad, It's Only A 'PKS Reduction'
The crowd, while larger than a typical School Board meeting, would likely have been larger still if parents knew ahead of time, the meaning of "Administrative PKS Reductions" listed in the official agenda made public for the meeting. To the uninitiated, "PKS Reductions" means 'Particular Kinds of Staff' Reductions; a euphemism for teacher layoffs.
The PKS gobbledygook may serve as a diversion from the job at hand tonight but it was noted at the meeting the District had satisfied the minimum legal posting requirements for a public meeting.