Steel Valley School District To Cut Teachers, Staff

By: Mary Robb Jackson

MUNHALL (KDKA) — Standing to lose nearly $2.5 million in state subsidies, Steel Valley has joined other school districts in making some hard decisions. They’re cutting teachers and staff.

Last month, state legislators discovered $500 million in surplus revenues. They put it in a rainy day fund, but a lot of educators say it’s already raining.

The pain of $1 billion in state education funding cuts is being felt all over Pennsylvania totaling 2000 teacher jobs, 1000 jobs in education support staff and another fewer 1,200 teachers lost to attrition.

“Public education is being tested and public education could change drastically for the worse,” said Butch Santicola of the “Pennsylvania State Education Association,” which represents teachers.

KDKA’s Mary Robb Jackson reports:

On Tuesday night, the Steel Valley School District reluctantly released the names of 39 full-time teachers and one part-time position that are being let go for the next school year.

“It’s devastating particularly in this district,” said Diana Borges, the spokesperson for the district. “We tried to do it across the board – we’ve not eliminated any program.”

Made up of Homestead, West Homestead and Munhall, in the past decade this district has seen a 21 percent decline in enrollment. The teacher cuts will mean classes will be more crowded.

“Absolutely,” says Borges. “There’ll be increase in class size.”

Although, all-day kindergarten, which has been cut elsewhere, will stay.

“We did lose the ABG grant just like many other places, but we are at least for the unforeseen future keeping all-day kindergarten,” said Borges.

Princess Criner, who has children in four different grades within the district, says they’re struggling as it is.

“[They’re] cutting out the music, the art, now they’re taking away our teachers – like that’s unbelievable – that’s really hard,” said Criner.

“It’s going to have an impact on what’s offered in the schools,” added Santicola. “It’s going to have an impact on class size; it’s going to have an impact on the number of people that are going to be available to help the kids in this school district.”

The Steel Valley School District sent home a letter to all parents and guardians asking them to contact Gov. Tom Corbett and the State Education Secretary to let them know that these cuts will jeopardize students going to college or getting good jobs – a serious impact on the community.

KDKA’s Heather Abraham has the latest on education funding:

Steel Valley School District
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One Comment

  1. Old Codger says:

    Ms. Criner, if you are really a princess then shouldn’t your children be attending a private academy?

  2. Diana Lynn Ankrom Borges says:

    Good wishes and blessings to the administration, faculty and staff of the Steel Valley School District during this difficult time!

  3. Don'tHurtKids says:

    Corbett and his like minded Republican (mosty) politicians can only be described as EVIL for trying to harm children this way. A business model approach to education is stupid and ignorant and is supported by right wing child hating politicians who are also crooked with the gas drillers. They (Corbett and his republicRATS) hate children, unions and public schools, but they love to steal money with the drillers. Then they went to steal more money and give it to private (mostly religious) schools that can be totally selective with regards to taking students.
    Boy, Corbett really is EVIL!!!!

  4. Willie says:

    GOOD- As the article says , enrollment has been decreasing anyway. Tired of paying school taxes for these union teacher jobs. The School Board should have done this regardless of Corbetts cuts. All school districts should tighten their belts, everyone else is.

    1. Jaybird says:

      You have absolutely no idea what modern day teachers have to deal with. Also, there is a great discrepancy between what teachers make. This goes from district to district and from job to job internally. You are way over generalizing. Someday no one will want to go into this profession because of stupid people like you are jealous or envious of teachers. Why would some one go four or five years to college for $100,000 and have to tolerate moron criticism?

  5. KNOWtheFACTS says:

    Steel Valley has lost only 84 students since 2005. Since then, Administration and the School Board have hired 98 teachers (64% OF THE TEACHING STAFF!!). Decline in enrollment?? I THINK NOT! In the past, the district has mismanged their money, leaving the distict 2 million dollars in debt, not including Corbetts cuts. The KIDS will be the ones that are paying for the districts mistakes…a belt that can not afford to be tightened, WILLIE!

  6. Diana Lynn Ankrom Borges says:

    The facts are that 12 years ago we had nearly 2400 students and now we have about 1820 — that is a substantial decline in enrollment.

    1. Willie says:

      Amen, less students=less teachers

      1. Justin says:

        “Fewer students = fewer teachers”

        Clearly there were not enough teachers at your school…

      2. Pitt Fan says:

        Willie, I didn’t even know they got internet access at the trailer park.

        Wow, progress.

  7. Mrs. Doubtfire says:

    Some districts may have been mismanaged at times. Others have spent way to much money on sports stadiums. However, this does not excuse what the Corbett administration is doing to public schools in pa. Two wrongs do not make a right, and governor Corbett is very wrong in is approach to public education.

  8. CHUCK WILSON says:

    The school district is shrinking. MAybe combine with West Mifflin. The area of Munhall and West Homestead has many elderly homeowners, why keep slapping them with higher taxes? Face the reality people cuts are needed. Maybe homeschool your kids-quit crying about the expenses of being a teacher—DONT DO IT THEN. Everyone says free market is good, give vouchers and let the good schools survive.

    1. Justin says:

      Vouchers do not solve the problems. What they do is leech the good kids away from struggling schools, leaving them to attempt to teach kids with fewer resources. Taxpayers would still be paying for those vouchers and moving students out of their districts.

      If your main concerns is taxation, vouchers are the worst thing you can do.

  9. WILLIE says:

    PITT FAN- wHATS WRONG WITH LIVING IN A TRAILER? Its better than being underwater on your mortgage, having student loans,high credit card balances and living beyond your means like the majority of people out there. You probably have investments and IRAS tied to the stock market..Wait till the market and Govt collapse..Dont knock it you might be a paycheck away from moving in nextdoor.

  10. FedUp says:

    Let me preface this comment by saying I do not enjoy seeing ANYONE lose their job. However, after years of school districts using the ‘tax and spend’ mentality, it does my heart good to see them forced into operating under reduced budgets. Taxpayers have been doing so for years, it’s time the school districts do the same! I voted for Corbett and, while I don’t agree with him on everything, this I certainly do. The only missing element is to pass legislation that would require a voter referendum to raise taxes above the rate of inflation, hopefully that’s next!

Comments are closed.

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