SCS Teachers Worry About Uncertainties

(Memphis) Shelby County teachers are worried about what’s going to happen when they report to work Monday.

They say there are still problems from not knowing when they’ll get paid, to just now finding out where they’ll teach.

“I am to go to Bartlett high school. I am a K-6 certified teacher, so I’m not quite sure what I’m going to be doing,” Genny Kilpatrick said.

It’s probably not what you would expect your child’s teacher to say the Friday before school starts, but Kilpatrick was on the teacher excess list, and she says the district just told her where to report Monday morning when the school bell rings.

“I hope that this is a temporary placement and that I will have some training. This would have been a training week,” she said.

The district said they had to wait to place the excess teachers until registration was over, which is why teachers were given such late notice.

About 110 teachers who were on the excess list were given temporary placements, and they say they are the lucky ones, so to speak.

Friday, the district laid off 30 vocational teachers and counselors.

“That’s the reality of situation we are in,” Shelby County Schools Supt. Dorsey Hopson said.

The tough budget cuts also mean no automatic step raises for teachers.

“Throughout the budget process it was clear that we could not afford to do step increases for anybody,” Supt. Hopson said.

But teachers say that is something they only found out Friday.

“We did not get any notification that we were not getting our step increases,” one teacher said.”I wish they would have told us ahead of time. It’s pretty indicative of the lack of communication.”

Despite frustrations these teachers agree they’re happy they’re employed.

“I’ll do whatever they tell me to do I’m glad to have a pay check,” Kilpatrick said.

Because she knows others who didn’t make the cut.

Despite the confusion, Hopson said every classroom will have a certified teacher in it on Monday.

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