Connellsville School Board votes to furlough more than 40 teachers at end of school year

Connellsville School Board votes to furlough more than 40 teachers at end of school year

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. — School’s not in session, but dozens of teachers in the Connellsville Area School District just found out they could lose their jobs.

The decision to furlough more than 40 teachers came from a board meeting Tuesday night. Many of the teachers will be continuing to teach their students online as they wait until Friday to find out if they’re being furloughed.

All board members but one voted yes.

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“I’ll make a motion that we send furlough letters out to the bottom three teachers we have in every department at all of the schools,” board member Kevin Lape said.

Jamie McPoyle is a science teacher and president of their teacher’s union. He filed a grievance today. He said most of this district isn’t organized by departments, so many teachers don’t know if they’re the ones getting furloughed.

“I hope everyone out there watches that board meeting because it’s laughable and it’s embarrassing to our community,” McPoyle said.

The meeting was recorded and the board stated the furloughs were not for economic reasons, but didn’t offer another explanation.

Lape proposed the furloughs and then made another proposal to expedite the process.

“I want these done as soon as possible and i should have made that part of my motion,” Lapse said.

The only board member who voted no was Paul Harshman. He took to Facebook Tuesday night, saying in part, “Our teachers are continuing to teach our children everyday, putting in countless hours to provide accommodations and modify their curriculums on the fly so that ALL CASD students are receiving the best education they deserve. Then we say what a great job our teachers are doing, only to send out furlough letters that the board said must be in their hands by Good Friday.”

Channel 11’s Cara Sapida reached out to every board member and only heard back from one -- Harshman. He again said this was not done for financial reasons and destroying the morale of the staff will accomplish nothing.