The Bayonne Board of Education approved three additional layoffs and demoted three more administrators to lower-paying jobs to compensate for a $2.2 million deficit.
Bayonne BOE President Joseph Broderick apologetically said that in his estimation, budget woes for the district began about six years ago.
“At that time, we started going forward, teachers with no contract, it happened for four years. During that four-year period that they had no contract, three of those four years was a zero [percent] tax increase,” Broderick explained during last night’s meeting.
Broderick added that when the contract was settled, the amount of money that needed to be paid to the teachers was not the same as the amount that was previously set aside.
Making matters worse, Broderick also mentioned that the board owes the city $2.1 million.
The measure passed by a vote of 5-3, with Trustees Carol Cruden, Mary Jane Desmond and Chris Munoz voted against the three resolutions regarding employee transfers and layoffs and Trustee Theodore Garelick absent.
“I voted no for the last round of layoffs for various reasons. This time, I feel this can be done, for various reasons, at the end of the year,” began Munoz, who is said to be in the early stages of planning an Assembly run.
“I’m not opposed to cost savings, eliminating tax burden or revamping the district for efficiency, but as a cost savings of $41,722 from May 1st until the last day of school, I feel like the disruption of building flow and administration, the disruption of classroom instruction continuity and losing four teachers before the end of the year on May 1st – I can’t support that.”
Desmond, along the same lines, said that with state funding allocations days away, as well as resignations and retirements on the way, the move seemed to be little too drastic to implement right away.
Brian Belton, an assistant principal, will now be an art teacher at Bayonne High School, while Megan Liggett, the nontenured art teacher at the same school, will be terminated.
Tina Furmaniak, also an assistant principal, will be transferred to Nicholas Oresko Community School as a guidance counselor, while Kaitlyn Ballance, the nontenured guidance counselor at the school, will be terminated.
Finally, John Calcaterra, Director of Athletics, will be reassigned as Teacher of Physical Education/Health at the John M. Baily Community School and current nontenured physical education teacher will be terminated, effective May 1st.