Sonja Santelises, Baltimore City schools CEO said layoffs are inevitable despite additional city and state funding. The layoff could affect administrators, school police officers and teachers, according to the notification letter sent to teachers and other staff on Tuesday. The layoff is expected to begin in May.
Thanks to the new assistance from the city and state, the number of employees affected by the layoff, will be “significantly less” than initially projected. The cuts Santelises made to the central office staff, combined with the additional funding helped to shrink a $130 million budget deficit. School principals will have to cut about $30 million, opposed to $90 million prior to the proposed $23 million in funding from the state and $22 million from the city.
A single teacher’s salary, benefits and health insurance add up to about $90,000 a year. Principal of George Washington Elementary school, Christophe Turk, said the restored money prevented him from having to lay off two of his 19 teachers, but layoffs will still be expected elsewhere.
School officials have requested principals to submit budgets this winter, which included cuts in both programs and staff. Over a decade ago, principals were given power over their school’s finances, with the biggest challenges being the ongoing budget process and with the $130 million budget fall announced last fall, the difficulties became that much more challenging.