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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Dr. Calkins, Where's Achramo's Legal Expertise?*

We have been contacted by several community members and asked to explain the rationale and process for eliminating teaching positions.  Here is a brief summary of the process under New York State Education Law  § 3013 [click here to read law]

Good Faith Reasons for Abolishing Positions [click here for a Harris Beach powerpoint on this very issue]

Boards of Education have broad authority to abolish positions for economic as well as other reasons, as long as they act in good faith and reasonable judgment.  

Reasons for abolishing positions:
  1. Declining student enrollment (Hamburg's population has been stagnant for years)
  2. Declining revenue (This includes the fund balance (which no one seems to know where it stands), State Aid (we also do not know what this will be) and the record increase in Erie Co. Sales tax [click here for article on record sales tax revenues])
  3. Student need in other subject areas
Abolishing a position cannot be used to fire unwanted teachers in an effort to circumvent tenure rights.  Its believed Hamburg has done this in the past, so a word of caution.

Process for abolishing a position (s).

(1) Identify tenure area of the position to be abolished
(2) Identify person with the least seniority within the tenure area - use seniority list
(2a) Determine whether the individual has the right to “bump” a less senior teacher in another tenure area – again use the seniority list
(3) Formal board resolution 
(4) Notice to the person with least seniority in the tenure area abolished

Concerned learned that many teachers were laid off the day after the Valentines Day Board of Education meeting.  It was immediately thought, how could this be?  Achramo is a seasoned (or weathered if you like) administrator whose resume touts a stint as a Labor Relations Specialist at BOCES, surely he would know how to properly lay off teachers.  If he didn't, surely the thousands of dollars he sends to Harris Beach would cover a simple lesson.  However, this does not appear to be the case.  A simple review of the Board of Education meeting of February 14th (thank you Opengovernment14075 for video taping and publishing the meetings) will reveal the the Board of Education did not adopt a resolution to eliminate positions.  It seems as though the RSB  is up to their bad habits again.  Perhaps they may have made a motion to go into "executive session" and secretly discussed eliminating positions.  Perhaps they confused this clandestine discussion with  a formal resolution.  Perhaps they gave Achramo another "Gulf of Tonkin Resolution" to take any means necessary to slash budget lines.  Unfortunately, the Board President cannot cede the RSB's authority to Achramo.  Dr. Calkins just because you say it is so, does not make it so.  You must eliminate positions in public, in a formal resolution, not on one of your frequent trips to the Superintendent's office.  

Evaluating Achramo's lay-off of teachers, the order goes as follows: 

(4)Notice to the person (see notice below)


Laid off teachers said...

The teachers should file a lawsuit against achramo.

pink slip said...

Cried myself to asleep, no job this fall. Who cares? Thanks for the info. I want the board to face my family and others to see the misery they have created.

Friend in greece said...

Why he cutting teachers before the state budget is passed??? Fishy. Looks like he's trying to get something from the teachers? Scare tactics??? He did this in Greece. Hang in there hamburg, he won't last long. Greece.

Anonymous said...

Where is Achramovitch legal espertise? Answer: up his FUNDAMENT.

We pay for his lack of expertise.

Anonymous said...

So the high paid administrators are now running a job placement service from the admin building.

rumor has it cafeteria next said...

Cafeteria you are next. A heads up

Watch IEP's said...


I just want all the parents to know who's kid has an IEP. The administration is telling their teachers not to put on their records a need for an AID on thier IEP. I object as a parent this in violation of the law.

My daughter needs an aid and it is a part of her individual education plan and must be placed on her plan.

Get your resources ready with your support services. Another battle, don't we have enough.

This is an administrative directive to teachers.

no job said...

written to us by the school district.

"it is with deepest regret that we will no longer be needing your services as of 6/30/12".

So now we find out that our Superintendant has given us the pink slip illegially. How much more can we take from him? We have been put through the ringer and now we find out the board didn't approve this move. I agree with a previous comment Joan Calkins, Patty Collins and Steve Achramovitch don't care "Heartless, souless" as was commented here.

How many more mistakes will he make? With his bad deal of a contract with energy education (to tell us to turn off lights) he could have saved two teaching positions. Sick bunch

pink said...

From what I am reading, it looks like the pink slips were issued in error. Premature you might say. True $$$ not known what will be coming in from state aid as well as sales tax, and retirees. Why cause this horrible misery prematurely. Joan, this was a bad mistake and a cruel one.

Anonymous said...

I am sick of these inept veteran board members. What the hell is wrong with Achramo, after all these years he doesn't know the law or his place. I say to all the board members Steve Achramovitch works for the board, you don't work for him. And now I suppose come May they will give him a good review? So stupid that they voted to piss half a million down the drain to turn off lights. Free services out there to do that. Who is benefitting here? Certainly not the taxpayer or our kids. A waste of our precious few dollars is what it is.

Out of a job said...

Stevie says they made a mistake sending out the letters to staff. Let's get this right. Steve makes almost 200k, Gregg Davis makes almost 175k, jetted makes 125 k. That's $ 500,000 per year, and they make a mistake by writing a letter and telling almost 18 people they will be tossed to the curb in June. If a teachers made this kind of mistake Steve would be making up his whoppers to the boe to try and get them fired. I say fire Steve, Gregg and Rick....for a 1/2 million dollars we can get a lot better. A shameful group of cowards.

Anonymous said...

The letter is signed by Jetter, not Steve. Maybe we are dealing with an inexperienced HR person that doesn't know procedure.

Anonymous said...

would never sent out a letter like this without Steve's approval. Who are you kidding?

HT said...

Steve needs the EAP.

interloper said...

What alarms us in the know,

is the $$$ that Achramovitch is blowing on himself and non education items. Sad, so sad, has no regard for our school or our community. The employees that he is laying off are part of our community. This inteloper comes in and proceeds to divide us, and drive our moral and school community into the ground.
500k to turn off the lights has us scratching our heads. Where was the board on that one?

Anonymous said...

Please pass on to the cafeteria staff. Frontier and Hamburg are considering outsourcing the cafeteria

Anonymous said...

I am so inpressed at the information in this intelligently written post.

Maybe the SB should hire Concerned Group.

Free advise

Anonymous said...

Wake up. Jetter signed the letter. He is in charge of HR.

be discrete said...

To anonymous 3/2 9:45 PM

You better wake up Achramovitch and Calkins gave the directive, Jetter didn't pull this out of thin air. THe decision was made my Calkins, Achramovitch and Ambassadors to cut the teachers. He was instructed who to cut and what was to go in the letter. To bad they screwed up so badly. Could it be that one of the Administrators has a thing for Achramo and is defending him? History has a way of repeating itself you know. Be Discrete

Anonymous said...

This is rich, her defense of him.