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One former city teacher's fight to be laid off properly

Last year, we wrote about Kim Parr, who was laid off from her teaching position at the Baltimore School for the Arts amid budget cuts. Students marched down to City Hall to save the visual arts teacher of 27 years, and the layoffs--she was one of three--caused quite a stir at the school.

I was happy to hear that Parr was moving on last fall, after she went through what she described in one of our articles as a devastating process of severing ties with the district.

But, in a strange twist, it seems the district wasn't ready to sever ties with her.

Since last fall, I've been in communication with Parr about some bizarre happenings since she was laid off. In a letter to city schools CEO Andres Alonso on Monday, Parr outlined the chain of events much better than I can...so, I'll just include exerpts here. 

The district did not immediately respond for comment.

 

Dr. Alonso,

In May 2011 I was laid off from the Baltimore School for the Arts on grounds stated by Leslie Shepherd as a budget shortfall.  Of course you are aware of this experience.

In August, out of the blue, a different city school contacted me to confirm they would expect to see me show up to teach for the 2011-12 year.  This was surprise, I was not interviewed, and I am not certified to teach in that position. I was hired at BSA uncertified as an independent artist.  When I was laid off at BSA it was not even possible for me to move to another city school.

Then in October I discovered that the BCPS was paying me, although I was laid off in May.  I immediately contacted your office on October 4, and the payroll fiasco was resolved by my writing a check back to BCPS. 

Then I was notified I was being terminated for "abandonment of position" in November.

At that time I had to retain an attorney to remove any such stigma, and correct BCPS from entering any information that could tanish my otherwise strong and leading performance record as a teacher in the BCPS and at BSA.  This took many days of my time to resolve with the help of an attorney.

Now, after all of this, I received a letter again from your administration on March 28,  threatening to assign a collection agency against me to collect funds your administration paid for health care for me this past fall, now a year after you had personally sponsored my lay off from BSA. 

...it is an unfortunate reflection on the Alonso administration, that not only was I laid off with no expression of appreciation for 25 years of valued service, but continue to be harassed by your administration, have my time consumed without compensation to try to help your administration fix its errors.  I am confident your driver would be treated better when he is laid off.

Thank you for resolving with decency and finality.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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