NEWTON, NJ—A big crowd “attended” the Newton Board of Education May virtual meeting to hear and be heard on the board members' staffing decisions for the 2020-2021 school year. The board and administrators made it known that budget shortfalls would require teachers to be cut.

More than 160 participants were on the call, including many of the current teachers within the Newton district.

After a 90 minute executive session, the board members and administrators voted to eliminate one teacher. 

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“Approve that, due to reasons of economy and/or other good cause, one social studies teaching staff member position at Newton High School is hereby abolished upon the recommendation of the Superintendent," the resolution said. 

The resolution also said the teacher that will be cut will be placed on a “preferred eligibility list.”

 The board members approved the Merriam Avenue School, Halsted Middle School and Newton High School l teaching positions listed on an attachment to the agenda. High school business teacher Hal Mordkoff and social studies teacher Jennifer Coffey were not on the renewal list. 

In their final discussions board members addressed petitions that had been circulating though the community on social media.  They said specifically the five teachers who had garnered signatures and support had been rehired in the approved staffing list for the 2020-2021 school year.  

The Board of Education meeting was then adjourned at 10:35 p.m.