Forty-Eight Teaching Jobs on the Chopping Block in Shelby Co.

(Shelby County, TN) Shelby County Superintendent John Aitken introduced a proposal Monday night to eliminate 48t teaching jobs, based on an estimation of how much money the school district expects to get from the state in April.

The Shelby County School Board members will now consider those options or other ways to meet the budget.

Joan Sloat doesn’t have children in school anymore and believes this is an example of hard decisions being made in hard budget times,
“They have to do what they have to do. I mean I’m sorry people have to lose their jobs but we have to live within our means.”

A school spokesman says they are hoping for more money than the $355 million they expect from the state.

They are hoping many of the 92 job cuts can be offset by teacher retiring or moving to other districts.

Another item up in the air is Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal to give teachers a 2.9 percent raise.

If passed, Shelby Schools will have higher personnel costs and won’t be able to employee as many teachers.

Thomas Griffin says it’s a bad situation all around, “Rough for the teachers that’s all I have to say. It’s going to be rough for them.”

Funding is based on student enrolment and over the last few years Shelby County has had decreasing number and less funding.

They haven’t had to get rid of teachers because of several federal grant funds, but many of those expire this year.

Memphis City Schools also has a budget shortfall but used reserve funds to pay the difference instead of cutting teachers.

“The Memphis option seems to be a more fair option considering the market and the economy and the job market. That would be a smart thing to do at this time,” said Nimmo Bahagat.

School Transition Commission member Martavious Jones says Shelby County Schools and Memphis City Schools will now ask the Shelby County Commission for more money, but so far they have not received any additional funds from the commission.

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