Lack of funding has led to the elimination of 34 support positions in Harford County Public Schools and forced some layoffs, a school spokesperson confirmed.
The positions were a part of the paraeducator staff, three of which from the special education department, according to school system Manager of Communications Teri Kranefeld. Many of the positions were already vacant, Kranefeld wrote in an e-mail.
"Thirty-four positions were eliminated with 41 percent of those positions already vacant," she wrote.
The paraeducators, she added, "function in a variety of settings."
Of those 34 positions, 22 were filled and those employees, according to Kranefeld, have been released from employment in accordance with a Harford County Education Services Council union agreement. The agreement has reduction in force guidelines that state: "Qualifications, work performance and length of service will be considered in reduction in force."
The positions eliminated, according to Kranefeld, were "identified for reduction in force," but she did not specify how the criteria outlined were applied to individual employees.
These positions were briefly mentioned in the budget hearings in January, when Superintendent Robert Tomback announced that Title I and American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the federal economic stimulus program, funding would be reduced.
At the time, the school system identified approximately 48 positions that would be affected by the federal funding reduction.
Tomback said then the funding was expected to end and the positions were created with that in mind. Kranefeld confirmed the same in her e-mail Monday morning, writing that the "ARRA funded positions were temporary."
The job reduction changes take effect June 30.