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Monday, May 16, 2011

1400 Teachers lose their jobs In Broward County

From the

by Cara Fitzpatrick

By Cara Fitzpatrick May 16, 2011 12:40 PMThe Broward County School District is giving pink slips to about 1,400 teachers this week as it struggles with a $144 million budget shortfall, district officials confirmed Monday.

Notices are going out Tuesday, according to the district. Teachers losing their jobs are primarily first- and second-year teachers who don't have continuing contracts, said Pat Santeramo, president of the Broward Teachers Union.

District officials stressed Monday that they weren't laying off employees. The district can choose not to renew annual contracts without cause. And some teachers were hired last year with the understanding that their jobs were paid for with one-time money, officials said.

Other district employees, such as clerical workers, also started receiving notices Friday and Monday, said Jim Silvernale, a representative for the Federation of Public Employees, which represents workers in the district's transportation, maintenance, clerical, and other departments.

Silvernale said he didn't have an exact number, but said the union had heard about a dozen or so employees who received notices.

Last year, the district laid off about 1,305 staffers - including 568 teachers and 737 non-instructional employees - and hired many of those back with federal stimulus money. The district doesn't have the option this year to use stimulus money.

Of the $144 million shortfall expected, about $81 million is coming out of the schools. Principals started looking at their budgets last week, and rumors have been swirling that lay-offs were coming.

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