Woodland Hills proposes cutting 19 teachers, aides

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About 15 Woodland Hills teachers and four teacher’s aides would be cut under the school board’s 2014-15 budget proposal in part to offset reduced state funding.

The spending plan also includes a proposed 0.6-mill increase in property taxes, Pete Camarda, the interim business manager for the district, said during a board workshop meeting tonight.

Woodland Hills High School would take the largest cut with a loss of seven teachers to save the district close to $470,000. The staff cuts also would include six K-8 teachers — two from Woodland Hills Academy, two from Dickson Elementary, one from Edgewood Elementary and one from Fairless Elementary — saving the district more than $380,000. Pre-kindergarten would lose two teachers and four aides.

Mr. Camarda said the district will end the 2014-15 school year with only a $1.6 million fund balance. The proposed tax increase and staffing cuts would save the district $2 million, he said.

“The state has put the members of this board in a tough position to where these nine [school board members] have to play the bad guys,” Mr. Camarda said. “You know what’s going on with districts here in Allegheny County that are close to shuttering their doors. You’re not far from them, so you need to take action.”

Clarece Polke: cpolke@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1889.

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