Lack of budget approval causes layoff notices


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

All teachers in the Lumen Christi system received layoff notices last week, but the school superintendent of the Diocese of Youngstown says it’s because the budget hasn’t been approved.

“These layoff letters are just routine because we don’t have an approved budget,” said Superintendent Nicholas Wolsonovich. “Under diocesan policy, we cannot issue contracts until we have an approved budget. Eventually, that will happen, and contracts will be let. There are no mass layoffs here at Lumen Christi.”

The Lumen Christi system comprises six elementary schools: St. Patrick in Hubbard, St. Nicholas in Struthers, St. Joseph-Immaculate Heart of Mary in Austintown, St. Christine in Youngstown, St. Charles in Boardman, Holy Family in Poland and Early Childhood Learning Center at St. Luke in Boardman.

Wolsonovich said school officials met with teachers to explain the situation, although some parents were calling the diocese Monday, concerned about layoffs.

Lumen Christi administration sent notices Monday to parents and guardians to explain.

In addition to the budget’s not yet being approved, the notice says that the master contract with teachers requires that teachers be notified if the school system cannot issue them a contract by mid-April.

“As soon as we finalize and approve the 2014-15 Lumen Christi budget, staffing decisions will be made, and teacher contracts will be issued according to the master contract with our teachers,” the notice says. “We understand and appreciate the concerns for the teachers regarding this matter, but we must operate our schools on sound financial policies, which are the same policies we hold for all our diocesan schools.”