© 2024 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Akron school board, facing deficit, cuts two high-level administrative posts, promises more

 Akron Public Schools headquarters in Downtown Akron.
Ryan Loew
Ideastream Public Media
Akron Public Schools headquarters in Downtown Akron.

The Akron Board of Education late Tuesday night voted to cut two high-level administrative positions after three-plus hours in a closed-door executive session. More layoffs are likely as the district faces financial challenges.

The cuts will affect the positions of longtime district administrator Rachel Tecca, assistant superintendent and chief of leadership and learning, and Nicole Vitale, executive director of teaching and learning, who was hired by former Superintendent Christine Fowler-Mack last year.

Board President Derrick Hall said in a brief interview Tuesday that the cuts are part of a “reorganization” that will help the district address looming financial challenges. He said more cuts will be coming.

“We’re going to try to do it through attrition first,” Hall said.

He said, though, that attrition alone won’t be enough and more staffing reductions are likely.

The five-year forecast approved by the board Monday nightshowed the district spending at a $6.5 million deficit for the next fiscal year, which starts in July. The deficit is projected to be $37 million in the following year. Hall said those deficit projections prompted the reduction of the two high-level administrative positions.

Hall said the cuts were not meant to target the people currently in those roles. The superintendent and the human resources department will work over the next two weeks to determine whether other positions would be a fit for Vitale and Tecca, he said. According to a resolution passed by the board, the cuts are meant to “consolidate administrative duties or functions.” The positions will be eliminated as of June 30.

Vitale and Tecca didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment sent Tuesday morning.

Fowler-Mack, the former superintendent who left the district earlier this year and had a strained relationship with the board, created three new administrative positions that were approved by the board last year, including the assistant superintendent position Tecca holds.

Fowler-Mack told the Akron Beacon Journal that the district’s central office was “lean” and needed more help to execute on a vision for improvement of the district.

The Board did not discuss cutting the two positions before voting Monday night. The vote was 5-1, with Board Member Job Esau Perry voting against the resolution.

Conor Morris is the education reporter for Ideastream Public Media.