Note from Community Impact Editor Amelia Robinson: The Dayton Public Schools board approved 241 layoffs and furloughs on Aug. 28. A piece from School board President Mohamed Al Hamdani and superintendent Elizabeth Lolli explaining the layoffs is linked below. It appeared on the Dayton Daily News' Ideas and Voices page Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. Columns written by Sharon Buerger and her daughter Dottie, a sophomore at Stivers School for the Arts, are also linked below.
We do not disagree with Dayton Public Schools on this point: the pandemic means the school year is beginning with severe implications for our community and state, the nation, and the world.
It is a difficult and challenging time for us all.
However, the COVID pandemic has been made much more difficult for DPS educators, nurses, counselors, media specialists, preschool teachers and support staff than those from others districts because they are laid off.
All school districts felt the burden of adapting to online education last spring when schools were closed due to the pandemic and we had to switch on a dime to serving our stakeholders – DPS was not unique in that.
As such, the question which must be asked is why are we unique in this online curriculum that results in job loss, however temporary the district keeps saying it may be? No other district we are aware of is or has laid off staff due to their online curriculum.
DPS has also said at various times the layoffs are financially necessary.
“If all of this seems confusing, you are not alone."
- David A Romick, president of Dayton Education Association
That seems to run counter to their own treasurer’s comment at the August 28 special board meeting called to consider the RIF/furloughs.
When she was questioned by the board vice president about the district’s financial picture, she said we are good.
If all of this seems confusing, you are not alone.
DPS has gone to a lot of effort to describe what is offered instead of visual and performing arts classes, instead of physical education, instead of preschool, and videos instead of teachers.
Meanwhile, in just about any other district we are aware of that is operating remotely, just like DPS, those classes are still being offered, they are still on students' schedules, and their teachers are still teaching them.