Merged School District To Cut 600-800 Teachers

(Memphis) Hundreds of teachers will soon hear that they are out of a job at the end of this school year.

According to Shelby County, those teachers will be told they are surplus and then allowed to reapply for other jobs within the district.

“Most schools I’ve heard are losing between 4 and 6 teachers,” said Sammy Jobe, president of Shelby County Education Association.

“Under the merged system they are called excess and they are not guaranteed a job,” added Jobe.

Here is the information from Shelby County Schools.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The annual process of staffing schools has started for the 2013-14 school year. School-based staffing is driven every year by projected student enrollment and the budget. Given the significant budgetary constraints we face heading into the unified district, the staffing formula for all schools had to be adjusted. Principals have been receiving their staffing information over the last week and are making faculty and staff aware of the adjustments for the coming year.

Importantly, the staffing reductions are not solely the result of the merger. Legacy Shelby County Schools implemented an abundant staffing model over the years, supporting additional teachers with its fund balance. However, the fund balance would not have been available for the 2013-14 school year, so modifications to school-based staffing could not be avoided.

Although the revised formula will require some administrators to do more with less, we are confident that even with the adjusted formula, we will still be able to provide a quality educational experience in all of our schools.

- Shelby County Schools

Supporting facts:

  • Merger not withstanding, both MCS and SCS were going to have to make cuts at the school level in 2013-14 due to budgetary constraints, particularly SCS because reserve funds had been used in past years to keep staffing numbers in place. MCS lost teaching positions prior to the 2010-11 school year, and SCS lost positions last year.
  • Principals across both districts have been receiving their school staffing allocations since last week. Staffing allocations are based on anticipated funding from the Shelby County Commission and projected student enrollment. This is an annual process for both districts.
  • In an effort to be transparent, principals have been informing faculty and staff of their allocations for the 2013-14 school year.
  • It is important to note that surplussed teachers are not fired. These teachers are still eligible for vacant positions in the district.
  • Based on expected budget constraints and vacancy trends, we project to have 600-800 surplussed teachers across both districts, but we are expecting 1100-1300 vacancies due to attrition. This is in line with previous years. The projected number of vacancies is conservative, meaning it is likely that several hundred more will surface throughout the summer, providing ample opportunity for employment.
  • Proposed teacher-to-student ratios for schools in the unified district are lower than the state requirement.
  • Educational programs are not expected to be impacted by the projected staffing allocations.
  • Staffing allocations may be adjusted depending on funding from the Shelby County Commission and finalization of the budget.

“If you’re none tenure you have to reapply with the district. If you’re a tenure teacher and you’re excess you’re on the preferred reemployment list for two years,” added Jobe.

There was no specific information on which schools will see the cuts. Some schools will have an increase in teachers.

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