Students Fight to Save Their Teachers' Jobs

Students Fight to Save Their Teachers' Jobs

The Unified School District now has an approved budget of $1.18 billion and it's $30 million in the red, even with $100 million in new cuts. Unified School Board members are talking about cutting at least 50 guidance counselor jobs. A lot of them work with poor and traumatized children.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - The Unified School District now has an approved budget of $1.18 billion and it's $30 million in the red, even with $100 million in new cuts. The cuts are mainly staff, like teachers and guidance counselors. Unified School Board members are talking about cutting at least 50 guidance counselor jobs. A lot of them work with poor and traumatized children.

"People at Gordon do not need to get fired because they are good teachers,” said 10-year old Stacey Dooley.

Dooley and his sister, 8-year old Jasmine Arnold, attend Gordon Elementary School in North Memphis. It's one of the schools that may cut some teachers and guidance counselors.

"We get to do good stuff; we have fun. We work in groups and we learn,” said Jasmine Arnold.

Her mother isn't happy about the possible layoffs.

"They always talk about their teachers and guidance counselors,” said Jasmine’s mother, Lakeisha Arnold. “They're a big help and they're a big part of the community. So we need them for the kids, also for our sake, we need that other help because some kids can’t get help at home."

It's true, just ask Myrtle Malone. She's a guidance counselor at Gordon Elementary and has been helping kids for the past 30 years.

"As counselors we do care. We provide clothes, we provide direct assistance, eye glasses for children who can’t read,” said Malone.

She says they already have a thin staff and can't imagine more cuts.

"I'm over here Mondays and Tuesdays at another school and if the crisis is happening over here, what are you going to do? Call me and send me over there? By the time I get there the child has gone berserk," said Malone. “We're going to fight, we're not through. It's not over."

For the kids’ sake, they hope it's a fight they can win.

"They help me learn, they teach me everything I need and they do a lot of things for us,” said Dooley.

The Unified School Board is also talking about firing teaching "coaches," those who coach teachers on how to improve. On top of that, those that do stay need to reapply for their positions - and there's no guarantee they'll be hired.
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