Portland, OR - The school board of the recently merged Eaton and
Franklin High Schools announced that 1,200 students would be laid
off as part of their cost-cutting measures.
School Superintendent Marisa Fargman said, "We've got a lot
of duplication among the students now that the merger is complete.
Fifteen homecoming queen candidates is way too many for a district
of our size, and 85 nerds is more than our jocks and preps can adequately
"The board was given a mandate by voters last year to reduce
class size, reduce expenses and improve test scores. We've satisfied
all three goals by targeting the layoffs to our less-gifted students," said
The Franklin-Eaton Big Red-Beavers sports teams were also affected
by merger. "We ended up with three 'Coach Larrys.' The school
debated keeping all three in a rotating schedule, but because of
insurance costs, we just kept the one with the shortest criminal
record," Fargman explained.
Many students fear this won't be the last round of layoffs. Sophomore
Craig Wilkerman helps out in the A-V room and is worried about his
job. "I'm relieved I made it through these cutbacks, but there
are twelve kids to deliver VCRs to classrooms. I think I might be
next to go," lamented Wilkerman.
Ben Humrig was one of the students to get the axe. Humrig said, "I
was Class Clown at Eaton, but the kid at Franklin was a Freshman
and I'm a Senior. I guess they wanted somebody who would be around
for a few more years."
Fargman didn't rule out more cutbacks and said that the board is
considering a 1-to-1 student-teacher ratio. "Seventy-three students
would really be ideal, but we have an eye on the future when we may
hire more teachers," she said.
The board is also looking at combining cafeterias as a source of
revenue. "I really think that the synergies between Eaton's
Meat Surprise and our Creamy Tuna Casserole will increase revenue.
The kids are going to eat this up," said Cafeteria Supervisor,
John Simmons, Principal at Eaton High School, was forced into early
retirement, but received a lucrative severance package including
the school's pool.
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