MANTUA, Ohio– Several parents could not hide their disappointment over the announced layoffs of nearly 20 staff members, the majority of them teachers, at Crestwood Local Schools.
“So many kids suffer when we don’t have the right teachers to teach these children,” said Matthew Ozimec, 45-year resident and parent.
The cuts come the same week as teachers in Oklahoma end a nine-day strike for higher wages and increased state funding. Crestwood administrators blame the Ohio state budget, in part, as the catalyst for the cuts, citing the loss of around half a million dollars in state funding, coupled with declining enrollment.
The district treasurer said they were forced to find a way to cut $1.4 million from the budget.
“We look at every line item down to the bare-bone pencils and pens, and make sure we are budgeting everything correctly,” said Jill Rowe, district treasurer.
According to the superintendent David Toth, the decision to cut dedicated staff members, including 12 teachers, is especially devastating.
“You never want to see people lose their jobs. It effects their families and it also effects the community so that’s heartbreaking for me,” Toth said.
Toth said the majority of cuts are happening at the middle and high school level. They include cuts to core classes and extracurricular courses.
“Ultimately, I’m upset with the state of Ohio and their continuous reduction in the amount of money that schools have received public schools specifically,” said parent Dawn Gula.
However, some parents remain hopeful there are better days ahead.
“I’m not worried about what they’re doing,” Jay Moore said. “They’ll keep excellence up and take care of the kids.”