Layoffs could come Friday at local schools

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Three schools in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area will each lose a staffer if the City Council and Department of Education officials do not reach a deal to avert layoffs by Friday, October 7.

The Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy, the Bronx School of Law and Finance and John F. Kennedy High School could each lose one Parent Coordinator or Community Assistant.

Parent Coordinators serve as liaisons between their school and parents and are charged with increasing parent involvement and spearheading outreach, among other tasks. Community Assistants provide administrative support to their principal and fill out paperwork for schools to receive federal funding, according to District Council 37 spokeswoman Zita Allen.

DC 37 is the union representing the workers, many of who make less than $20,000 a year and work 20 hours per week, according to a fact sheet.

Law and Finance Principal Evan Schwartz, whose school is slated to lose a Parent Coordinator, said he is trying to prevent the layoff. Mr. Schwartz said this might be possible because the school has about 30 more students than originally projected. When this happens, the DOE provides a mid-year adjustment, meaning the school receives some additional funds. Usually, the money is doled out in December and February but Mr. Schwartz said if he can get it sooner, he could save the position.

District 10, which includes schools in Riverdale and Kingsbridge, is set to lose nearly 50 full- and part-time positions overall, according to data provided by Ms. Allen.

Other positions on the chopping block include part-time staffers; school aides, who work as hall, bathroom and playground monitors; and family paraprofessionals, who work with families, special education classes and psychologists. No schools in the Riverdale/Kingsbridge area are faced with losing these positions.

According to DC 37, the layoffs will hit poor areas the hardest.

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