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Published: Tuesday, 5/17/2011

Bedford schools to lay off 103 teachers

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

LAMBERTVILLE —Bedford Public Schools, grappling with a projected $4.3 million deficit, will send pink slips this week to 103 teachers, or more than a third of the teaching staff.

The board of education Tuesday night voted unanimously to implement the layoffs, cutting deep into the teacher seniority list.

The action satisfies the May 20 deadline the district has with the 290-member Bedford Education Association to notify teachers of staff reductions that will be needed for next school year.

Howard Schwager, director of human resources and labor discussions, said the steep cuts will allow the district to work through the bumping process to get to certified teaching positions that it wants to eliminate.

“Are all these individuals going to be laid off for the 2011-12 school year? Absolutely not,” Mr. Schwager said. “I look at this as one step in the process. A significant number of individuals, by the time we get to June 1, will be recalled.”

Under contract provisions, the central administration office can start the process in the next five days of recalling the teachers who are being laid off to get to the targeted positions.

Superintendent Ted Magrum said legislation in Lansing that would drastically cut per-student funding necessitated the steep layoffs.

Under proposed House amendments to Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget proposal, Michigan schools are looking at cuts ranging from $256 to $297 per student. That’s on top of a $170 per student cut that’s already in place.



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