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U.S. Teacher Layoffs Continue to Mount

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The list of states affected by sinking budgets that result in advance notice of teacher layoffs continues to grow. In fact, there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Parents should keep considering  your “Plan B” because you never know if or when your family may be touched as this meltdown continues.

The latest:

Board Eyeing Teacher Layoff in Assumption [Parish] by Aaron E. Looney

School system officials said the 4,000-student district is projected to have a $4.8 million general fund budget shortfall for the fiscal year ending June 30.

According to the reduction-in-force notice, the projected shortfall would require reducing the $14.6 million general fund balance that is part of an  overall $42 million general fund budget.

“We can afford to do this for two more years and then close the doors,” School Board President Lawrence Howell said during a meeting last week.

A reduction in force is usually enacted during significant enrollment declines, the loss of federal funds or state funds, a need for restructuring, compliance with state law and federal law or the discontinuation of special programs or projects, according to school system policy. The need for reductions because of those conditions must be greater than what can be done through attrition and reassignments, the policy says.

Savannah High School Firing Entire Staff by Associated Press

A failing Savannah high school is firing its entire staff as it struggles to avoid state takeover.

A Savannah-Chatham County Public School System spokeswoman confirmed Thursday that Superintendent Dr. Thomas Lockamy is meeting with teachers and staff at Beach High School to inform them.

Employees are being told that they may reapply for their jobs. The same number of positions will be available.

Beach High School has been classified by the state as needing improvement for the past eight years, linked to the school’s annual progress measures.

School officials said the firings were a last resort after teachers asked for more money for changes like additional training and a longer school day.

Superintendent: More Layoffs Likely for Montgomery Public Schools by Adrienne Nettles

Superintendent Barbara Thompson said Monday that the Montgomery County public school system could face another round of layoffs as early as April.

The Montgomery County Board of Education on Monday voted 6-0 to approve the latest round of cuts, employee leave and position transfers involving 46 non-tenured school employees, including six contract principals and three teachers. Board vice president Melissa Snowden was not present.

Earlier this month, board members voted to not renew the contracts for 612 non-tenured school employees, including more than 400 teachers.

Thompson on Monday said she plans to recommend cutting 33 tenured teacher positions and about 80 tenured support staff positions — such as secretaries, custodians and aides — as early as April.

The cuts are part of Thompson’s effort to address an anticipated $18 million budget shortfall in local and state funding next school year.

CMS Board Votes to Start Layoffs of 600 Teachers: Job Ratings Are Top Criteria; 224 Assistant Principals Face Pay Cut by Ann Doss Helms

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board Tuesday voted 6-3 to launch layoffs of approximately 600 teachers and cut pay for all 224 assistant principals in 2010-11, as the district braces for a second bleak budget year.

The board voted 6-3 against a motion to cut everyone’s pay up to 10 percent to avert layoffs. But members said they’ll keep looking for alternatives to layoffs, possibly including pay cuts.

Superintendent Peter Gorman said he can still scale back on job cuts if the budget picture improves, but if he doesn’t start now “we lose the ability to have it as a tool.”

And he said after the meeting he sees little prospect for avoiding the layoffs: “Right now it looks imminent.”

Duncan Silent on Florida’s Education Mess by Valerie Strauss

Despite a growing chorus of opposition from teachers, students and even school superintendents, the Republican-dominated state Legislature is intent on passing a bill that would make eliminate teacher tenure, link teacher pay to student standardized test scores, and add a heap more tests on already test-plagued students.

Each one of those items will negatively impact every student in a Florida public school. But that’s not all.

Citing terrible budget constraints, legislators are trying to pull back on a decision voters made in a state referendum in 2002 that limited class size. Voters approved a plan for gradual reductions in class size until they reach no more than 18 for grades pre-K-3, 22 for grades 4-8, and 25 in high school.

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