More Layoffs for Unified School District

More Layoffs for Unified School District

More than 900 employees were fired last week. There will be 200 more people losing their jobs next week. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said the cuts are across the board and they're happening fast.
MEMPHIS, TN (localmemphis.com) - The Unified School Board dropped the ax, and another big round of layoffs is on the way. The board slashed $75 million with many of those cuts including personnel.

More than 900 employees are now without a job. There will be 200 more people losing their jobs next week. Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said the cuts are across the board and they're happening fast.

"The pain is about to be very real," the superintendent said during a work session Tuesday night.

July 1st marks the birth of the Unified School District. Shelby County Commissioners approved the district's $1.2 billion budget. Even so, administrators had to make another $75 million in cuts.

"When you start talking about eliminating 2,000 plus jobs, which is what has happened, there's no way the community is not going to feel it," said Hopson. He went on by saying that he is sympatric to those on the chopping block. The lost jobs include teachers.

"There is still hope," said the Executive Director of the Workforce Investment Network, Naomi Earp.

The group is conducting a serious of workshops to help recently fired teachers get back on their feet.

"We will help the teachers understand which skills they have are transferable to a different industry," said Earp.

School board member Kenneth Whalum, Jr. is not happy how slowly things are moving. The first day of school is August 5th.

"We'll say we're ready but there's no way we can reasonably state that we will be fully up and operational with the resources both human and otherwise," said Whalum.

Rick Masson, a special appointed court master, is supposed to speed things up when there are disagreements, especially now when the district is racing against the clock.

"I don't think we've done anything that would cause some concern as it relates to whether we will be ready," said Hopson. "He's doing especially what a special master is supposed to do."

The board tabled a few things, like the policy of corporal punishment, to be discussed in July. The board will meet again at the Memphis Teaching Learning Academy on Poplar on Tuesday, June 25, at 5:30 p.m.
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