Looking to cut costs, the Baltimore city school district has issued layoff notices to more than 150 employees as part of a central office reorganization.
The district announced in a news release that 159 staff positions were eliminated and another 16 employees have been reassigned. Creation of new positions in the reorganization will offset some of those eliminated; the changes will result in a 119.2-position reduction..
CEO Gregory Thornton, faced with a projected $108 million gap in the 2015-16 budget, has been working on the reorganizing since assuming the CEO job last year. He had indicated that at least 100 central office positions would be eliminated.
“Making the decision to eliminate staff positions is a very challenging thing to do,” says Thornton. “But it is necessary not only to balance the budget for the upcoming year, but to put the district on the path to financial stability for the long term. By taking this difficult step today, we’re investing in our students for tomorrow.”
The central office reorganization includes a redesign of the academics office so that it can better provide "direct, targeted, and sustained services" to support teaching and learning. A newly created student supports office will focus on issues of climate, safety, student engagement, and ensuring students’ physical, social, and emotional well-being.
The district also will cut costs by reducing the number of surplus staff members without permanent funded positions, who in the past were available for placement in vacancies as they arose.