Ohio schools have to notify teachers of contracts that won’t be renewed by April 30.
That means hundreds of teachers around the state will be getting pink slips over the next few weeks.
This week, the Cleveland School Board voted to lay off 500 teachers – about 17 percent of its teaching force.
Kamili Gulley, a high school math teacher, was one of those laid off. She spoke at the board meeting for the first time.
“If I’m not going to be here anymore, they at least needed to know that I gave my time, and I did my job to the fullest of my ability,” she says.
“For them to just put my name on a list, and it’s not just about me, other people’s names on a list, it just doesn’t make any sense.”
Gulley says the district should look for other ways to plug their $66 million budget deficit.
The layoffs are expected to make up for about half of that deficit.
In Cincinnati, nearly 240 teachers are losing their jobs because of a $43 million budget deficit. District Superintendent Mary Ronan says the district had no choice but to reduce its workforce.
“The district has been very fiscally responsible but what has occurred is the state, county, city governments have balanced their budgets by withholding funds or taking funds from the school district,” says Ronan.
Lorain City Schools is cutting 200 positions. Dublin and Westerville City Schools near Columbus are both facing layoffs, as is Coventry City Schools. And Akron City Schools is expected to announce layoffs next week.
Among the reasons cited for the reductions are dwindling student populations, cuts in state funding, lower property revenues, and trouble passing levies and labor contracts.
Note: We reported that the Cleveland Metropolitan School District voted to lay off 500 teachers. That’s true, but we wanted to clarify that the district will actually lose a total of more than 700 teachers, since part of the plan to cut costs includes asking more than 200 teachers to take a buyout.