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Where We Live: Lackawanna


The Lackawanna city schools will have fewer teachers when students return from their summer recess in September.

The district’s board of education on Thursday approved a resolution cutting eight full-time teachers and one part-time teacher – all in the middle school and high school.

The cuts affect two full-time English teachers, two full-time science teachers, two full-time social studies teachers, one full-time math teacher and one full-time social worker.

The full-time equivalent of 1.4 physical education spots also will be cut.

In addition, a full-time French teacher, a full-time consumer science teacher and a full-time art teacher all will be reduced to part-time posts.

The reductions are slated to take effect June 28.

Some of the teachers losing their jobs have more than 10 years experience in the district, said Mike Popek, a high school science teacher and teacher’s union president.

The latest round of cuts will hurt programs and stall progress in a district with high percentages of students who are in poverty, need English as a second language instruction or special education, Popek added.

“I’m afraid the cuts are going to set us back many, many years,” he said.

Also this week:

• The Lackawanna City Council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday in Council chambers in City Hall, 714 Ridge Road, to discuss the transfer of $20,000 from the “judgments and claims” line item of the budget to a Council account to pay attorney fees for the defense of Council members in a lawsuit filed against them in 2012 by Mayor Geoffrey M. Szymanski.

City Attorney Antonio Savaglio also is requesting that the Council approval a new contract deal for public works employees.