During the last meeting of the Ithaca City Board of Education, longtime Ithaca resident and concerned parent of two students in the district, Paul Montolo, confronted the board about the crisis of teachers and other specialty staff leaving Ithaca schools in large numbers.
Montolo told the board, “this is threatening to undermine the education of our students and it's coming at a time where there are trends like this happening around the country and around New York state. But things are happening locally in such a way that I think we can also help to find solutions locally.”
According to Montolo, this shortage of teachers is having an extreme effect on students in the district — especially students who have disabilities and require additional staff to allow them to access education through the district.
“My son is one of those people. And we experienced firsthand how this turnover is affecting folks like my son.” said Montolo.
He continued saying, “I implore the district to do better at sharing with the community what you are doing about retention plans about salary and compensation plans, and to be open and honest about the challenges that are here locally facing us locally.”