School District Ups Security Guards Because Of Jobs Cuts

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(Memphis) Hundreds of central office workers for the Memphis and Shelby County School districts are going to work this week to find they don’t have a job.

The district has extra security on hand this week protecting the central office because around 250 employees will be cut as the districts prepare for their official merger Monday.

One unified district who works inside the central office says this week feels very strange.

There are extra security guards at every door and around the building and they are being scanned for weapons when they go in.

All the concern is because the district is cutting its staff by over a quarter and you never know how someone will react.

Memphis City Schools and Shelby County Schools together have around 650 central staff members.

They’re getting rid of about 250 of them because of the merger.

The district says many of those jobs duplicate, and the idea is to have the best person in the position to save money.

By Friday, everyone who is getting the axe will know.

Those who survive will report back to work two days later for the first official day of the unified district.

Extra security guards are in place to make sure the stress filled environment doesn’t turn dangerous.

Shelby County Superintendent Dorsey Hopson says many of the people being cut have dedicated their lives to the district.

“Many of the people who will be ending their employment with Shelby County Schools are our family members, they’re our friends, people we’ve known for a long time and our hearts go out to them,” said Hopson.

The district saved about $18 million by cutting the jobs, Hopson says it kept cuts from happening to teachers and the classrooms.

Most of the staff who will keep their jobs are former Memphis City Schools employees.

Despite giving up its charter and forcing a merge with Shelby County, MCS employees will make up 72 percent of the central staff if everyone accepts their positions.

Hopson says this is pretty much in line with the percentages before based on district size and student numbers.

Despite all of the cuts there will be about 50 job openings still unfilled.

They will be posted and the district says employees being cut can apply but they will not be given special preference.