Teacher aides in Briarcliff Manor believe their jobs will be drastically cut in the 2010-11 school budget and are strongly urging the Board of Education to reconsider slashing the positions to save money.
The Board of Education has said it wants to pull down a $52.5 million spending plan to $49.5 million for the coming school year.
The School Related Professional union representing the aides told the board this week that they and their members were long-time workers who provided many advantages to the district’s children and staff.
“It appears that the aides will take the greatest hit,” said union Co-President Ginny Fitzgerald. “The only bigger is the children.”
The district has 71 teacher aides, which includes 7 bus monitors, she said. Discussion of cost cutting have zeroed in on cutting 39 aides and four monitors.
She and co-President Maria Barone said the Briarcliff numbers deserve closer study, especially because the district likes to compare itself to other well-respected districts in the region. For example, Scarsdale has 4,700 students and 224 aides; Chappaqua has 4,150 students and 122 aides; Ardsley has 2,159 students and 92 aides.
Briarcliff has 1,710 students and 71 aides which might go down to 42.
After Fitzgerald and Barone addressed the school board Monday night, at least half of the audience of 200 community members applauded to show support for these aides. Aides, they say, allow some children to arrive early and stay late at school, to get extra help during the day and to assist teachers in daily lesson plans.