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Published: Wednesday, 4/29/2009

Toledo teacher layoffs possible to close $10M deficit

BLADE STAFF

Toledo teachers could be laid off as the school district looks to close a $10 million budget gap for the upcoming year.

The Toledo Federation of Teachers has been notified that 75 to 100 teachers could be laid off, said Francine Lawrence, president of the teachers' union.

"We have not had any briefing as to the board's financial projections for next year so I have not received evidence to support the rationale for eliminating classroom teachers," she said.

Toledo Public Schools Superintendent John Foley confirmed the district is meeting with its bargaining units to talk about possible staff reductions because of the projected $10 million deficit for fiscal year 2010.

"We're considering, with the loss of enrollment, making adjustments to our staffing levels and potentially closing some schools tied to staffing levels as well as the OSFC plan," the superintendent said, referring to schools not receiving funding for renovation or a new building through the state-supported Ohio School Facilities Commission building program.

Enrollment and money are tied together and the district lost 1,600 students last year and anticipates losing more, Mr. Foley said.

The enrollment losses coupled with no increased funds from local or state sources as operating costs increase led to the projected $10 million deficit, he said.

Ms. Lawrence said she's encouraging the superintendent and the Toledo Board of Education to make their decisions, while they may be unpopular, as soon as possible so staff can know their fate.

David McClellan, president of the Toledo Association of Administrative Personnel, said there is no number of layoffs projected for his membership as that will be dependent on which schools might close and other decisions that haven't been made.



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