Some schools bracing for deep cuts

February 28, 2011 3:19:43 PM PST
This is the first year that Meaghan Gribbins has been a teacher at Soundview Academy, which means she would be among the 50 percent of teachers here to be laid off.

"I'd be very heart broken. I think I've been able to do a lot here. I've been able to impact the students and I hope that I would be able to continue as the school grows," she said.

The middle school itself is less than two years old. There are just over 200 students and 16 teachers. If Mayor Bloomberg is forced to cut teachers, the school could lose half of the teachers. That would mean rebuilding at a school that relies on hiring new teachers.

"Teachers that are often mid-way in their career are not as willing as teachers new to the career to building a school from the ground up," principal William Frackelton said.

P.S. 48 is a large elementary school: 800 students, 77 teachers. Eight per cent of the teachers here face possible layoffs.

"I'm really dedicated to my job and it seems unfair that just because I'm new to it, I should be the first to go," teacher Hallie Slamowitz said.

"I understand the union's perspective about seniority-based layoffs," teacher Amanda Shapiro said.

Teachers like Shapiro would like to see a different system in place.

"If seniority-based layoffs is eliminated, we'd hope that a better system would be in place to insure that teachers who are doing their jobs really well, stay," she said.

The principal says P.S. 48 would lose thousands of dollars already spent on training and tutoring younger teachers.

"We have a lot of wonderful teachers who have been here 10 years, maybe 30 years, and then we have some amazing ones that have been here 3 years. So if it was up to me, none of them would go," Principal Roxanne Cardona said.