Parents, kids up in arms over school layoffs

Parents and students at Saint Anthony of Padua in Passaic are miffed after learning most of the school's educators will soon lose their jobs.

Saint Anthony of Padua is set to merge with Catholic Regional, which is scheduled for closure. Nine of Saint Anthony's 12 full-time teachers will be let go at the end of the school year as a result of the merger.

It's a bitter pill to swallow for the school's youngsters.

"I have been in the school seven years, and I don't want to see most of the teachers I care about leave," says seventh-grader Danis Cespedes.

Parents also feel the teachers are getting the short end of the stick.

"Some teachers have been here over 10 years and they've basically been told, you have to go, and I don't think that's fair," says Arellys Rodriquez.

According to diocese officials, the educators were evaluated prior to dismissal.

"When the credentials are all in place, seniority is a consideration ? and also performance and commitment to Catholic education," says spokesperson Marianna Thompson.

The schools serve around 300 students between the two. The students will attend classes taught in the Saint Anthony building.

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