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East County Wednesday, May. 29, 2013 4 years ago

Manatee Schools' parents petition teacher cuts

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

More than 1,300 parents of Manatee County Schools' children have signed a petition against the district’s decision to eliminate 182 teaching positions for next year.

Karen Riley-Love, a Manatee County parent and former middle school teacher, plans to present the petition to Superintendent Rick Mills at noon Wednesday at his “Soup with the Supe” event at Renaissance on 9th.

In a budget workshop May 20, Mills announced to the School Board 182 teachers will lose their jobs as part of a plan to save $20.6 million.

The eliminated positions also address class-size related issues.

Manatee Schools has kept class sizes smaller than required in the Florida class-size amendment by staffing elementary schools with a student-to-teacher ratio of 16-to-1 instead of the maximum 18-to-1.

In the petition, Riley-Love argues that other Florida school districts violate the same amendment.

The petition reads, “Our teachers promote critical thinking skills and teach our children to think of the best solution, not just the easiest one. We need our superintendent to do the same. We do not want our children's education to be compromised by the elimination of professional educators."

View the petition here.


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