STRATFORD, Conn. — The teachers' union in Stratford voted Monday to accept two unpaid furlough days to avoid more than 40 layoffs by cutting $700,000 from the school budget, according to the Stratford Star.
The Stratford Education Association said the teachers "voted to sacrifice for their students and colleagues" but said the Stratford Board of Education must find a long-term solution to its financial situation, the Star said.
Superintendent Janet Robinson proposed the furloughs to make up part of the school board's deficit.
Then last month, other unions accepted the furlough proposal, but the teachers rejected it.
Without the furlough, Robinson had planned to begin layoffs of over 40 teachers and staff members this month.
The town lost $2.89 million in state Education Cost Sharing grants, and the district is working under the same $106.8 million budget from last fiscal year.
The furlough days will be the last two days of this school year. The Stratford schools will be in session 180 days, the minimum required by the state, with the furlough.
Parents last month launched an online petition drive to stop the layoffs.
The petition, which was created on Change.org by Patricia Clark Sperling and others, is a "vote of no confidence" in Robinson and school district Chief Operating Officer Clarence Zachery.
The petition calls for a halt to the layoffs and requests a forensic audit because "taxpayers in Stratford have a right to know how and where their money is spent," the petition says.
It says Robinson, Zachery and the Board of Education have not responsibly and transparently managed school finances.
The petition at Change.org has over 2,000 signatures.
Click here for the story at the Stratford Star.
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