AUBURN — The Auburn Enlarged City School District's school board weighed how to handle impending staff cuts in the wake of Cayuga Center's impending closure of its residential treatment program.
The board decided at a meeting Tuesday night to temporarily shelve voting on cutting staff members.
Cayuga Centers announced the program's shuttering — along with the loss of 120 positions — on Feb. 22. Edward Hayes, Cayuga Centers president and CEO, said in an interview with The Citizen that same day that the program had lost over $2 million since July.
District superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo said of the 19 staff members the district has employed with Cayuga Centers, 18 of them have enough seniority to go on to other positions in the district, but some of those staff members will go to vacant spots. Pirozzolo said after the meeting that seven teachers at other schools in the district will lose their positions, and five aides will lose their positions.
Business manager Lisa Green said the district is projected to lose a minimum of $450,000 to $600,000 from Cayuga Centers, depending on the number of layoffs the district ultimately approves and unemployment costs. Green said after the meeting that she and Pirozzolo had met with Hayes a few weeks ago and that he had assured them the district would be "made whole" and wouldn't lose money.
Pirozzolo said these teachers would be leaving in the middle of the school year while preparing students for Regents exams. He said he was "shocked" about the position the closing puts the district in, saying the district has been "stumbling around" trying to handle it.
"(We are) very displeased about the way the message was handled and the position it put us, the board of education, our staff and our students in."