Two Hamburg teachers, whose jobs were cut in proposed budget, leave before end of year

HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — Hamburg residents are a week away from voting on a school budget that calls to cut 20 district employees, including 13 teachers. Tuesday was the final budget hearing and public input period before the vote next Tuesday, May 21.

“We have thousands of kids in this district who have been impacted by these cuts and will continue to be impacted by these cuts, and that should be at the forefront when we are talking about this and making decisions,” PTSA President Jessica Reyna said.

Last month, Hamburg’s school board adopted a nearly $84 million budget. In a statement, the school says, “not a single class or program was cut because of the staffing reductions that are in this budget.”

Hamburg BOE adopts nearly $84M budget; vote scheduled for May 21

Some of those programs are classes for college credit, clubs, the arts and sports.

“They’re saying they’re not moving programs, but the quality of those programs is being compromised,” Reyna continued.

“Obviously, if you’re, you know, eliminating 17 positions, the only way you can do that with no impact to students would be if you had 17 employees who weren’t doing anything,” parent Susan Baiter said. “We all know that that’s not the case.”

Hundreds of Hamburg students walk out of school in protest of teacher layoffs

Superintendent Michael Cornell answered parents’ concerns on Tuesday about a Spanish and science teacher, whose jobs were being cut, being offered work elsewhere and leaving classes empty before the end of the year.

According to an email sent to parents from the principal of Hamburg Middle School, grade seven science is now being taught by a substitute teacher “currently pursuing her educational degree.”

“This is not the time of year to have a place filler,” Reyna said. “If you have a sub in for one or two days, totally understandable, but if it’s going to be a long-term, we need someone completely qualified to be teaching that subject.”

“When the students are taking their exam for their credit, for their foreign language, I think they have to have a certified language teacher,” Baiter said.

Superintendent Cornell responded saying, “two of them found employment much sooner than we or they anticipated. We are happy for them, and we are going to do what we always do when we have an open position. The past is a great predictor. We have no problem finding talent and we won’t have a difficult time doing that going forward.”   

The district faces a deficit after losing federal COVID relief money. The school says leadership feels the weight of these decisions and they know that every teacher played an important role in making school great.

“Hamburg is supposed to do things differently, we’re supposed to set the bar very high,” Reyna concluded. “We hold our kids to a high standard, we should also hold our leadership to a high standard.”

Latest Local News

2 Hamburg teachers leave before end of year after budget cut

Rosie’s Ice Cream opening new location in Buffalo

Amherst Town Board rescinds $11M bond for theater

NF man sentenced to 70 years for series of crimes in 2022

5/14 victims honored at ceremony on 2 year mark of shooting

Dillon Morello is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has been part of the News 4 team since September of 2023. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *