NORWICH – It was standing room only at Wednesday night’s Norwich board of education meeting, as faculty and community members spoke out against a number of staffing changes.
A significant portion of the 3 1/2 hour meeting had already passed by the time the board reached the controversial discussion item on the agenda. The discussion began with a staffing overview presented by Superintendent Gerard O’Sullivan, who displayed a list of the district’s faculty by building.
“Mostly everyone is staying right where they are,” O’Sullivan said, as he reviewed the color-coded document, indicating staff members who would be moved to other assignments next year as well as retirements and positions slated for elimination based on the recently approved budget.
The middle and high schools showed a greater number of changes, he explained, as “most of the budget cuts were made on the secondary level.” Those cuts “precipitated some of the other changes,” he added, as did state mandates.
When questioned about some of the changes, O’Sullivan reminded the board that throughout the entire three-month budget process he had often told them that as positions were cut they would cause stress in other areas.