The ongoing feud between the Youngstown School Board and its CEO continued Wednesday night, this time over the announcement that 21 jobs will be eliminated — with 18 people being laid off.
The CEO says it was his plan all along, while the school board president says there were other places that could have been cut first.
Before Wednesday night’s Youngstown School Board meeting, President Brenda Kimble criticized CEO Krish Mohip for his decision to eliminate 21 positions, 18 by layoff and three through retirements.
“He’s pulling support from the teachers and the students because those positions work directly with our children,” Kimble said.
“You know in the past people said we had too many administrators, and I agree, we did at some point, but we had the right amount of administrators for the work we were doing,” Mohip said.
These are the positions being eliminated through the 18 layoffs — among them deans, attendance and instructional specialists, social workers, and student encouragers. There are no teachers or service personnel.
Mohip says the Youngstown schools were in such bad shape when he arrived that an overabundance of administrators were needed. Now he says it’s better.
“We couldn’t have done that last year or two years ago. If we removed those positions then I think things would have fallen apart. We staggard back in these positions knowing that the schools will continue to move forward and make progress,” Mophip said.
The layoffs will be effective December 31, but health benefits will continue through June 30. It’ll save the district $602,000 a year. Kimble says he could have laid off some of his administrators.
“So all those high paid people who deal with whatever they deal are still working,” Kimble said.
During its meeting, the school board went over a financial report of the city schools and one point of contention was $2 million being spent on attorneys.
“But there needs to be reform in our spending now. And the reduction in staff we’ve had from Mr. Mohip is not that reform,” said Ron Shadd of the school board.
Mohip said the Youngstown City Schools are in good financial shape. He said he did deficit spend last year but the five-year forecast is for an $18 million surplus by 2023. On July 1, 2017, that surplus was $24 million.