The Northgate school board Monday voted to reduce its teaching staff by 23 members this fall, which is 20 percent of its 115-member force.
Northgate superintendent Joseph Pasquerilla said the board also voted to eliminate the positions of 10 part-time teaching assistants, which would result in 22 remaining in the fall.
Although there were rumors last week, the superintendent's recommendation was introduced for the first time publicly to the board at a committee meeting Monday, the same night the board voted.
He blamed the staff cuts on declining enrollment, saying enrollment had fallen from 1,644 students in 1995-96, when there were 110 teachers, to 1,211 this school year with 115 teachers.
Mr. Pasquerilla said the affected staff have not been named.
Butch Santicola, spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said the issue came up in the last two weeks and the union was surprised the board took the action.
"We didn't think they were in that kind of situation financially," he said.
He added, "There was no effort by the district to work with us on this thing."education - neigh_north