Baltimore Schools Reduce Staff in an Effort to Close the $130-Million Deficit
Baltimore public schools are cutting 115 jobs in order to help close the $130.0-million budget deficit that the city’s school system is facing.
Of those 115 jobs being lost, only 13 are classroom teaching positions. Another 21 are librarians or school counselors, while 24 are assistant principals. The rest of the jobs serve various roles in the school district.
This reduction of 115 jobs is still a vast improvement over the initial estimate that more than1,000 staff members would be on the chopping block. The $130.0-million deficit was able to be reduced significantly, however, when the district received $59.0 million in additional resources toward closing the gap. Further cuts were made alongside a number of reassignments that helped reduce the number of required job losses to the relatively-low 115.
On top of that, the district believes it may eventually be able to find employment for those staff members it is losing, so the final number of job cuts may be even lower than 115.
Still, the district will have to find a long-term solution to the large budget deficit that is plaguing the school system in Baltimore. Without a more sustainable model that can close the deficit, further cuts will only decrease the outcomes for students in the system, while also shedding jobs for teachers.
After all, these cuts must come from somewhere, and could lead to kids being underserved by cash-poor schools.
Baltimore ranks below-average in math and reading when compared to the rest of Maryland. Of those attending public schools in the region, 83.5% qualify for free or reduced-price meal plans, while graduation rates remain low, at 66%.
Like many other cities struggling to close the deficits that plague their budgets, Baltimore will ultimately have to find a way to both keep schools improving service for the students while also finding a way to reign in a high debt.
While job cuts can help in this regard, they are not a long-term solution for the root of the problems in the Baltimore school system.
“Baltimore Public Schools To Lay Off 115 On Thursday,” CBS Baltimore, June 1, 2017.
“Baltimore City Public Schools,” U.S. Department of Education, last accessed June 1, 2017.