BALTIMORE (WJZ) — City schools in crisis. Amid a massive $108 million budget gap, the school CEO announces 100 layoffs by the end of June. It’s all in an effort to tighten the school system’s purse strings.
Christie Ileto has details on the cuts.
The proposed cuts are heading to the front office–not to the classroom–but many fear that’s where they could be going next.
There are 1,000 positions at city schools’ central office. Ten percent of them are on the chopping block.
According to our media partner, The Baltimore Sun, CEO Gregory Thornton wants 100 positions slashed to shore up a $108 million shortfall.
“I think it was very bad timing to make this announcement,” said union president Jimmy Gittings.
Most employees are on spring break.
“There are going to be layoffs, there’s no question about that. The layoffs that are going to take place are not going to have any impact on the administrative union,” said Gittings.
“I’m just glad it’s not coming from the classroom instruction,” said Councilman Nick Mosby, 7th District.
Ileto: “Are you afraid or concerned at all this could open the door to cuts to the classroom?”
Mosby: “I would hope not. I hope that’s definitely a last resort.”
Friday’s news comes against a backdrop of statewide cuts to all Maryland school districts.
Baltimore City was already in the red when it learned it would be getting $36 million less.
“Right now, we’re trying to raise money to get a new library. Our library isn’t even usable,” said Rachel Stosur, student.
Rachel Stosur is a freshman at Baltimore City College High, where she says resources are already bleak.
Ileto: “Are you afraid these budget cuts could eventually make their way to your classroom?”
Stosur: “Yes. If they’re already cutting people from the administrative positions. There’s still budget problems and they need to get money from somewhere. So it could come from our classrooms.”
A worst case scenario some are already bracing for.
Some teachers and employees from the district office tell WJZ they support the superintendent’s decision. Others fear this could be a foreshadowing of more cuts to come.
Thornton is also looking to change health benefits to all employees to lower costs.