PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The start of a new school year is just around the corner and now, dozens of teachers are without jobs.
Monday night was emotional for a number of teachers as the board of the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School voted to terminate 43 of its educators.
“So, thank you for destroying my family,” one person said.
Several teachers addressed the board before the vote pleading to keep their positions. In the end, their comments didn’t make a difference.
“I’m very disappointed with what went on. We poured our hearts out. This is a great group of people to work with and I’ll definitely miss them. So, we’re just very disappointed,” Emily Gratteri said.
“It’s August, school is starting so it’s kind of hard to find a job right now. So, we’ll see,” Andrea Cook said.
This is actually the second time the board voted to layoff the teachers.
It made the same decision earlier this month, but a lawyer for the teachers found the action violated the Sunshine Act.
The teachers were hired back and let go again.
“I don’t think the board did all they could do and I definitely think they made a mistake,” Gratteri said.
“It was a difficult, but the correct decision. It’s a changing landscape for charter schools, especially cyber charter schools in Pennsylvania,” board president Brian Hayden said.
Board members say a decline in enrollment factored into their decision in addition to the lack of a state budget.
At this point, they don’t know how much funding they’ll receive.
In the meantime, even with 43 fewer teachers, board members say the students won’t see a significant impact.
“We’re completely confident that our students will be served in the same high standards that they have been in the past,” Hayden said.