School forced to cut some teachers’ hours

Reductions will be seen first in instructional tech and business departments.

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School officials are cutting some teachers hours to mitigate a budget increase. —Stacey Rupolo

Updated April 8

In order to mitigate the increase in the overall budget for the next fiscal year, officials at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) are cutting some teachers’ hours in the instructional technology department and the business department.

The cuts are projected to save the school $81,000 for next year, according to school committee chair Kimberly Kirk, and will seek to maintain the core programming needed by students.

“The driving force is working to meet the 2.5% increase of the budget,” MVRHS principal Sara Dingledy told The Times in an email. “When you factored in salary raises, necessary capital expenses, transportation increases, insurances, residential costs (more students in residential) and other stuff, a ‘flat’ funding of the lines put us at a 5-6% increase for the towns.”

Often, Dingledy said the school can make necessary budget cuts through attrition, but not this time around. 

“The attrition we have is in places we need to rehire for.  So, we needed to look at programs, evaluate their popularity and enrollment, and make decisions,” Dingledy said.

Kirk clarified that the cuts in hours are not directly related to school closures, and were initially discussed during the budget planning process, which happened before the outbreak. 

“It is never an easy choice,” principal Sara Dingledy said at a school committee meeting Monday. “We looked at all the different courses offered and tried to minimize the impact on students directly.”

According to Dingledy, one position in the instructional technology department will be moved from a full time to a part-time position, along with the same reduction in a position in the school’s business department. 

Dingledy said that both programs will still run, and students can still take advantage of the full range of classes offered in those departments. 

“Teachers would go from teaching 10 semester classes to 6 semester classes.  So, there was less impact on student opportunity,” Dingledy said.

Each of those teachers’ hours will be reduced by two classes per semester, meaning they will continue to teach three classes throughout the course of the semester.

Updated with comments from Dingledy. -ed