Budget Shortfall Leads to Job Cuts at Baltimore Public Schools
The Baltimore City Public Schools have laid off 115 employees this month, due to a budget shortfall.
A total of 83 employees are losing their jobs in the schools, and another 32 workers are losing their jobs at the district headquarters. Employees who are being sent home include 13 classroom teachers, 21 librarians and school counsellors, and 24 assistant principals.
Dr. Sonja Santelises, the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools, had warned earlier this year that the public schools in the city might see as many as 1,000 layoffs. The CEO cited a shortfall of $130.0 million in the budget allocated for the schools. Given the tight $1.31 billion budget, management had little option but to downsize the workforce.
Following this announcement, many teachers, students, and parents protested the decision to cut jobs. Consequently, the state and city government intervened with a $60.0-million grant so the huge number of layoffs could be scaled back.
After the city’s pledge of funds toward the budget, Santelises announced that the layoffs would be reduced from 1,000 to only 300. However, the CEO has managed to bring more than half of those 300 into the safe zone, leaving behind 115 unfortunate workers who have had to take the hard pill.
The city’s public schools currently employ 11,000 employees in various capacities, of which 6,000 are teachers.
Baltimore City Public Schools issued a formal statement, saying that the layoffs were made based on an extensive analysis of the employees’ experience, assignments, and certifications. Management also announced that some vacancies are also being removed.
Management has indicated that many of those who survived the layoffs hold the expertise to be reassigned to another area, where there was a vacancy.
In response, the President of the Baltimore Teachers Union, Marietta English, issued a statement saying that the school district’s approach to laying off the teachers, by calling upon them midway through their work days was both “humiliating and truly shocking.”
“Baltimore Public Schools Lay Off 115 On Thursday”, CBS Baltimore, June 1, 2017.
“Amid Baltimore school layoffs, tears and disbelief,” The Baltimore Sun, June 1, 2017.