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Willoughby-Eastlake schools lay off more than 200 staff due to COVID-19, remote learning

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Posted at 10:55 AM, Nov 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-21 10:55:24-05

EASTLAKE, Ohio — The Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools Board of Education voted Friday evening to lay off more than 200 employees due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The school board voted to lower the number of non-teaching positions in the district due to students learning remotely which have resulted in a reduced need for some positions. Those positions include secretaries, janitors, maintenance and cafeteria workers and study hall monitors.

The meeting was posted on the district’s YouTube page. You can watch it in the player below. The meeting starts at the 3:42-minute mark.

A school representative told the board during the meeting that, “making this decision is a very difficult decision to make. Knowing that it impacts the lives of a lot of our employees that have done nothing except be dedicated employees.”

The board of education said during the meeting that the district has kept as many people on the payroll as it could. It also discussed a possible plan for some employees to return in January if COVID-19 numbers in the district change.

As of Friday afternoon, there were 17 active student cases and 25 staff cases in the district, the representative told the board in the meeting.

He went on to say that the rising cases in the district and the county have necessitated the staffing changes.

“Ultimately, we're the fiscal agents of taxpayer dollars. And we have to be responsible. Those aren’t our dollars, they're the taxpayers’ dollars, and so we did the very best we could to keep as many people gainfully employed as we could. But we simply do not, by virtue of being remote, simply do not have a need for some positions,” the representative said.

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