The Vermont Math Teacher of the Year for 2010 is among those who could lose their jobs or see their hours cut at the Woodstock Union Middle and High Schools next year. Erin Danner was among the last hired at the high school and therefore, under union rules, could fall victim to a cost-cutting plan.
The school is trying to close a $325,000 budget gap in the face of declining enrollment. Twelve teachers would be affected by the cuts, but many would be asked to cut their hours rather than leave their jobs. The areas affected include math, social studies, science, physical education, family consumer science, special education, art, and counseling.
Keri Bristow, speaking for the teachers’ union, says the faculty understands the need to save money, but believes there might be better ways to achieve that goal without weakening the curriculum.
"Classes would be larger after these reductions," she says, "and some AP courses might not be offered at all."
Bristow says the union is now meeting with school administrators and board members to find other way to address the deficit. The primary alternative route now, she says, is to offer the most senior teachers early retirement packages.
The proposal is likely to come up for discussion at a school board meeting in the school library Wednesday, January 16 at 7 p.m.