Budget gaps the past two years have prompted the district to cut jobs in the instructional division. Here's a comparison of changes in spending and employment levels between 1994-95 and the current 1996-97 budget years.
There's been virtually no change in the number of classroom teachers working in the primary grades, kindergarten through six. Class sizes have increased for a variety of reasons, however, and now averages between 26 and 27, a number many educators feel is too high to allow teachers to give pupils enough individual attention.
High school academics
Seventy-one teaching jobs have been eliminated in the four core academic subjects - English, math, science and social studies. That amounts to 16 percent of the positions and has translated into fewer electives and larger class sizes in many high schools.
Twenty-three positions have been cut, almost all of them at the elementary grade level. The cuts might have been deeper save for state requirements for library services in the high schools. In all, one-third of librarians have lost their jobs, and service at most elementary schools has been scaled back to part time.
As a group, the arts haven't farely too badly, losing 8 percent of teaching positions. However, instruction in the arts - instrumental and vocal music, art instruction, dance and theater arts - is modest compared to most suburban districts. Moreover, the instrumental music program has suffered big cuts, losing 40 percent of its teaching staff.
These para-professionals help teachers in a number of ways, from working with students in the classroom and providing specialized attention for mainstreamed special education pupils to monitoring lunchrooms and relieving teachers on break. Their ranks have been cut by 14 percent.
Other key subjects and services
The teaching ranks have been thinned in most, but not all specialities. State mandates governing the growing number of special education students have driven the increase in staff in that area.
Computer science 16%
Special education 7%
Business - 11%
Vocations - 12%
Foreign language - 14%
Remedial English, math - 19%
Source: Buffalo News research.