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Plymouth-Canton Schools Expected to Layoff 22 Teachers Tuesday

Positions include elementary classroom, music, art and more.

The Plymouth-Canton Community Schools Board of Education is expected to take action to layoff 22 teachers during its meeting Tuesday night.

Executive Director of Human Resources Monica Merritt said the layoffs are due to projected enrollment declines for the 2013-14 school year. 

The teachers being laid off are determined based on end-of-the-year teacher evaluation ratings of ineffective, minimally effective through effective and seniority within those levels.

"It's always are hope to retain our teachers," Merritt said. "When we hire our teachers, we always look to hire the brightest and the best."

At anytime when a retirement or resignation comes in, the district will go to the layoff list and recall a teacher certified to teach the open position.

Two years ago, the district laid off more than 200 teachers. Last year, close to 70 teachers were laid off. In both instances, all the teachers were recalled to a position by start of school year, according to Merritt.

Merritt said none of the 22 teachers have received pink slips yet, but they have been notified of the board's intention to take action during Tuesday night's meeting.

Parents in the district rallied behind Bird Elementary music teacher Penny Kazmierski last week when they thought she would be among those laid off, even going so far as to create a Facebook page. 

Kazmierski was originally notified last week, but was recalled before the list was finalized for the board when two more teachers sent in letters for retirement or resignation.

Vocal Voices for Keeping Kaz was created June 5 and jumped to more than 90 likes within two days. The page received dozens of comments from Bird parents.

Kendall Cusmano wrote, "My second grade daughter showed barely any interest in music until Mrs. Kaz. Now she sings all the time and can't wait to learn an instrument. The 2nd grade concert was fantastic and my son who is in 6th grade said he wished she had been there when he had music at Bird. Please keep Mrs. Kaz! She is wonderful!"

"It was great because I have all of these emails from parents - and we were initially explaining the process and there's no exception to how we must do that," Merritt said. "Mrs. Kazmierski we all know is an exceptional teacher and she had one year seniority so she was literally the next one to be returned."

For the full list of teachers, take a look at Tuesday's agenda.
Jerry Thompson June 11, 2013 at 12:27 PM
I am sorry to see this article give no overview of facts, statistics, or analysis regarding the reasons for this downgrading if teaching staff. Is the enrollment in decline? Is class size so generous we can do away with these teachers who work daily with @ 170 students? What is the financial situation that threatens the system into casting aside excellent educators like Mrs Kaz? None of this is tackled here. Doesn't local media have some responsibility to reach for a minimum community standard? Could we perhaps hear about Gov Snyder's billion$ of cuts to education, passed out as corporate welfare for "job creation" which has not materialized? Could we read about the poorest state funding of education in Michigan's history which forces class sizes in Plymouth-Canton toward 40? Or how while the Gov's whole-heartedly promotes discredited schemes like cyber-Ed and failing for-profit corporate charters, he's defunding our locally governed community schools? I was kind if hoping with the information provided by freedom of press citizens might awaken to the causes of suffering of one of the states best school systems. Please consider putting WHY back in as one of the 5 "W's" of journalism.
Nicole Krawcke (Editor) June 11, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Hi Jerry, the teachers are being laid off because of declining enrollment as it says in the article. This story is meant to be a preview of tonight's meeting. There will be more on it after I cover the actual meeting. Thanks for reading.
Gary Brown June 11, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Jerry is right. Class sizes are too big right now and the teachers that are being laid off could be kept in order to reduce class size. It is interesting to note the Snyder was recently quoted saying that education is not about dollars spent. This comes from a man that spends between $16,000 and $19,000 per year in tuition on his child to attend a private school (Greenhills).
Jerry Thompson June 11, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Nicole, sorry but you're going to have to scratch the surface just a little harder and seek to understand and do your job of informing the public about the school situation beyond the French Nail investigation you've given it. The school is being forced into doing away with entire programs, positions and services due to unparalleled underfunding from the republican governor and legislature that are invested up to their eyeballs in promoting a shift of our public tax dollars into for-profit corporate educational enterprises. Our community schools are losing nurses, librarians, counselor a, music programs, our high school Writing Center (the first in the state of Michigan). Then, displaced teachers from those programs are "bumping" the new best brightest out of their positions and the big govt state controllers mangle our community standards and whittle away more of what makes parents love the local, neighborhood P-C Public Schools by starving it of proper funding. Charter-buying parents beware if you see cancelled programs and sky-rocketing class sizes and imagine your child better off in a charter and perhaps you end up contributing to Editor Nicole's enrollment decline. Use The Google! Charters (and especially Cyber-Ed) cannot claim success beyond your neighborhood schools. They'll show you some very doctored statistics but look at the online documents about their overwhelming failure to produce results. That is why states like Missouri, which earlier joined this bandwagon, is OUTLAWING charters due to inferior results and students declining achievement. Experiment with your child's chances at success if you wish, but don't base it on the lack of solid info in this PATCH coverage. Support your public schools. Do you let folks whose focus us on the dollar do your lawn, prepare your food, tend your pets? Isn't an abundance of care and pride part of those tasks? Why it so for your children.
Tea Partier June 11, 2013 at 02:10 PM
Let's do a little more thinking here. If public school attendance is declining, is private school attendance on the rise? Even Gary wrote about this, and is obviously trying to misconstrue what Snyder is all about by using his kids' tuition costs in a way that has nothing to do with Snyder's stance. Whether you pump a million dollars into a school, or half a million, it has little to do with the educational quality given. It's the character of the teachers, and content of the curriculum that will determine the outcome. If you concentrate on teaching kids to accept gays, how to put a condom on, not to bully, and how great our current president is, you can expect them to do poorly at history, writing, math, physics, and everything else employers are willing to pay for. Why do you think Snyder sends his kids to private schools? Because the public ones suck. Why do almost 1 in 2 public school teachers send their kids to private schools? Because the public schools suck. Shoring up a failing institution is a bad idea. Privatize education, and let good old fashioned capitalism fix it. Boom. Source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2004/sep/22/20040922-122847-5968r/?page=all http://www.chicagonow.com/publius-forum/2010/12/40-of-chicago-public-school-teachers-send-own-kids-to-private-schools/
Jerry Thompson June 11, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Let BigGovt and BigCorps fix everything, like uhhhhh. ... - 10 yrs of constant war with distribution of $3 Trillion taxpayer dollars to Haliburton, General Dynamics,etc, - banking industry's unregulated private capital schemes that crashed the economy, devalued our homes & savings, gave us Bernie Madoff and destroyed millions of jobs - except for the few saved by the recovery act - like our corporate, for-profit healthcare system ranked 38th in the world which costs 2.5x more with worse results and most money siphoned off for drug profits and insurance "administration" profits When you work with your eye on the dollar you're gonna make, you're not paying attention your quality is crap. The amt of money voted and parents support of their local teachers, not Burger-King High, is directly related to the quality via smaller class sizes. That's why P-C schools have always been top quality - which we continue to coast on while Snyder rides us into the ground. So money does matter. On what capitalist planet do you come from where investment in quality does not pay off? The brilliant US auto industry of the 79's&'80's which nearly fell to Japan. And as for US schools being so bad, it's your logic that sucks. The test scores used to compare us to other countries and bash the local public-controlled schools are tests on the elite cream of the crop kids who are selected out for college track education. We test all, encourage all, and support all to reach higher education. No other country even attempts that. Apples and oranges buddy-roo. Ill take the excellence for all, local community responsibility, sensible regulation of profit-mad Bernie Madoff/Rick Snyder types any day jn the good old USA vs. your Corporatist Dollartopia Comrade! BAM!
Tea Partier June 11, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Jerry, you're obviously not a successful business man by the content of your arguments, and you've pretty much solidified the assumption I had that you don't have a clue what you're talking about. I especially like how you make it look like that somewhere I said that investment in quality doesn't pay off. On the contrary, my profession is in quality, and is something I take serious. That is where I can tell you are completely talking out of the side of your face when you say focusing on the bottom dollar undermines quality. Also, Jerry (or should I call you "buddy-roo, too?), not everyone is meant for colleges. Not everyone is meant to be a plumber. Not everyone is meant to be a leader. Not everyone is meant to be... well, you get the idea, I'm sure. Stop trying to standardize individuals. I'm sure your home devaluation wasn't caused by Barnie Frank telling everyone to get mortgages for houses that you could never afford and running Fannie and Freddie into the ground. Also, all your bad talk about how much private industries are getting for producing new cutting edge products to help our warfighters, don't forget where we got the nuclear technology that's powering your little computer as you type your overly critical critique of a story that is a leader into a more in-depth covered story. Not everything is as bad as it seems, Jerry! Look up! By the way, it'd be nice if you provided sources for your statistics you're spouting off. Thanks in advance, buddy-roo!
Marcia Peterson Buckie June 11, 2013 at 03:48 PM
Oh, tea partier, yes, capitalism fixes everything! It's worked wonders for healthcare. Why don't we also corporatized the military? Instead of fighting for the U.S. army soldiers can have corporate sponsors, like NASCAR drivers. Why not have someone buy the intellectual property rights to the Bible, the Torah and the Qu,ran and make religion a corporate entity? Think of the royalties! Lets privatize every last molecule of natural resources in our state and I bet nothing will go wrong. Oh unfettered capitalism: is there nothing you can't fix?
Tea Partier June 11, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Wow. Marcia, have you read an American history book lately? Of course capitalism isn't the answer for everything, I'm willing to bet it would work with this issue, and it sure has a better track record than government controlled entities and programs. Look at Detroit. They're trying to get a private sector emergency manager, because their government failed them. Also, religion is privatized, so no argument from me there ;).
Bridgette June 11, 2013 at 08:06 PM
The sad part of all of this is the policy makers who are playing around with the public school system don't count on public education for their children or they may take it more seriously. When the general public final decides to take notice and realizes it doesn't work it will be too late for a generation of students with a broken education and those like Snyder will be long gone. leaving those who do count on public schools wondering what to do
Emily June 11, 2013 at 10:44 PM
I feel that a large concern I get from this article is this: "The teachers being laid off are determined based on end-of-the-year teacher evaluation ratings of ineffective, minimally effective through effective and seniority within those levels." The evaluation is done by the building principal. That is it. Is he/she does not like you for whatever reason (valid or not), he/she is able to rate you low and lay you off. Atrocious. That is far too much power for one person. The seniority is bogus; when a valued teacher is laid off and another very ineffective teacher with less seniority remains, the bias is evident. I am so disappointed in the direction we are heading at PCCS.

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