Frustrated parents fight plan to shuffle teachers to other schools in Paterson

Jim Dolan Image
Thursday, February 8, 2024
Parents rally over decision to shuffle teachers to other schools
Jim Dolan is in Paterson, New Jersey with the story.

PATERSON, New Jersey (WABC) -- Frustrated and angry parents gathered at a school board meeting in New Jersey, to fight a plan to shuffle teachers and even out the amount of students in classrooms.

Parents came to the Paterson School Board meeting Wednesday night to protest an initiative the board calls rightsizing, but students say it is breaking bonds with teachers they love.

"It's so sad seeing students hug their teachers goodbye, and even though you're graduating, you think you have all this time with your teachers and you really don't, and it's going to affect them mentally and make them very sad," said Amira, a student in 8th grade.

"How are you going to take out teachers in the middle of the year? Like how are children going to adjust to new teachers, larger classrooms? How is this going to affect our students' learning," one parent asked. "What is their plan?"

The plan is to move some teachers, who currently have fewer students, to other schools in the city, and move some of the students into larger classes with more kids.

"We are worried that it's going to increase class sizes. As you know, we are having a lot of issues with the immigration problems that are coming and we are one of the sanctuary cities and we have a lot of people here, and the classes are starting to fill up," parent Gamereli Soriano said.

The superintendent of schools isn't making these moves arbitrarily.

The national teacher shortage has been felt particularly hard in Paterson. This school district has more than 100 teacher positions unfilled, and nobody to apply for them.

For parents and students, that is the board's problem to solve. They just want their teachers back.

"It's going feel very hard to adjust to new teachers because we already built relationships with these teachers over these months," Amira said.


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