City schools to layoff 115 staff members by June 30

Posted at 11:52 AM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 13:29:01-04

School officials notified 115 staff members at Baltimore City Public Schools that they’ll be laid off as of June 30.

Officials notified staff members Thursday.

Of the affected staff members, 32 work in the district office and 83 in schools, 15 of whom are classroom teachers.

The Baltimore Teachers Union says affected teachers were pulled out of class and told the news.

"Very humiliating today," says President Marietta English, "to say you're going to go in to deliver a pink slip on a person's job."

English hopes that the laid off employees will be considered for job vacancies in the system, which are still open despite the layoffs.

"Where was the need to lay off these people," said English. "Why not just not fill these vacancies which you hadn't done that entire year anyway?"

City Schools released the following statement regarding the layoffs:

“The final number is significantly lower than originally projected. Early in the budget development process, more than 1,000 staff members were anticipated to lose employment. With the advocacy of parents, students, staff members, and other stakeholders and the support of city and state lawmakers, the district received $59 million in additional resources toward closing a projected $130 million budget gap, which in turn lessened the reduction in force to a projected maximum of 300 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. Along with cuts in other areas, the district’s final approved budget includes funding for 233.5 fewer FTEs in 2017-18 than in the current 2016-17 fiscal year.

The actual number of layoffs was further reduced through an exhaustive analysis of the assignments, experience, and certifications of all district teaching staff, which identified teachers in subject areas where layoffs were occurring who could be reassigned to positions in other areas where they had expertise. This, along with the elimination of some vacant positions, explains the difference between the 233.5 reduction in positions and the 115 staff members actually receiving layoff notifications. The district anticipates that new vacancies will continue to be created through July 15—the date by which teachers and school administrators choosing to resign must inform the district that they will not return for the upcoming school year—meaning that some of those receiving layoff notifications today may be called back to positions for 2017-18. In some cases, call-backs will occur before June 30, so that no interruption in employment will occur.

The 115 staff members currently fill a range of positions across the district. Thirty-four are members of the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU), among whom 21 serve as librarians or school counselors. Thirty-nine are members of the Public School Administrators and Supervisors Association (PSASA), with 24 of these serving as assistant principals. Layoff notifications are also being delivered to 26 staff members who belong to the Paraprofessional and School-Related Personnel (PSRP) unit of the BTU, 11 support staff who belong to the City Union of Baltimore (CUB), and 5 district office managers who do not belong to a bargaining unit.

All affected staff members are being notified in person today of their loss of employment. Job-seeking resources, counseling, and other support are being provided to all affected employees. Over the next weeks, the district will continue to work to place as many affected staff members as possible in new positions that become vacant before the beginning of the new school year.”