Over 40 teachers could lose their jobs in Stratford

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STRATFORD -- It's a decision that school officials said doesn't have to happen.

The state cut $2.8 million of ECF funding from the town of Stratford.

Monday night, the town council voted to absorb $2.1 million dollars of the cuts. That leaves the Stratford School board with the challenge to make up $700,000 worth of funding that won't be available. A challenge school board officials said will result in over 40 teachers losing their jobs.

Fran Rabinowitz, who is the executive director of The Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents said teacher layoffs don't have to happen.

"This situation I believe could have been avoided if in Connecticut we had a state budget prior to the end of the legislative session," said Rabinowitz.

Because the cuts came in the middle of the school year, Rabinowitz claims the district must layoff twice as many teachers since they were already paid for half of the year.

But some school leaders said there is still hope.

Members of the teachers union said it's now up to the board of education to figure out ways to make cuts and save teacher's jobs at the same time.

"Certainly efficiencies and cost savings that they can find within their own budget. And they have that purview. But we are open to all kinds of ideas short of hurting students," said Michael Fiorello, president of the Stratford Education Association.

Fiorello said The Stratford School Board will meet next on January 22nd in order to announce the teacher layoffs. The teacher's union hopes to meet with the board before then to discuss ways to meet the cuts all while saving teacher's jobs.