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Possible Layoffs for Some of Bethel’s 69 Non-Tenured Teachers Could Occur by May 1

On Wednesday, $542,000 was cut from the budget by the Board of Finance, with more than 50% cut from the education budget. District officials are now worried this might result in employee cuts.

Report by Paula Antolini
May 1, 2015 9:05AM EDT

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Possible Layoffs for Some of Bethel’s 69 Non-Tenured Teachers Could Occur by May 1

Non-Tenured Bethel teachers now fear loss of their jobs as education officials face further budget cuts.

The Registrar of Voters Office recounted the April 21, 2015 Bethel Education budget votes Tuesday and confirmed defeat by 2 votes, the final totals are 1,454 no to 1,452 yes.

On Wednesday, $542,000 was cut from the budget by the Board of Finance, with more than 50% cut from the education budget. District officials are now worried this might result in employee cuts.

Officials have already notified all 69 non-tenured teachers of possible layoffs. This is required to be done by today, May 1, 2015, according to Bethel Board of Education Chairman Larry Craybas.

The original request by the district was $43.5 million, reduced in February by the school board to $43.38 million, then further reduced to $43.3 million by the finance panel, even though the $43.38 million had been approved by the Bethel Board of Selectman.  The final vote by residents rejected the budget by two votes.

The town’s proposal is now at $27.3 million after failing by 29 votes.  The 1.1 percent tax increase was rejected by voters, and now stands at a 0.2 percent increase in property taxes, for the combined $70.3 million budget .

There will be a Special Town Meeting, 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 4, 2015, in the Bethel High School, where discussion will take place about the new proposal.  A date for the referendum will also be set at that time. Residents can vote on the referendum date from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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