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Baltimore City Schools: layoffs will save $14 million

By cutting 171 positions, Baltimore City school officials say the district will save $14M.

Baltimore City school officials said the district will save about $14 million from cutting 171 positions this year, which included 111 staff members who were notified Tuesday that their jobs were being eliminated.

The new details about the layoffs were released to The Sun on Wednesday, one day after the school system executed the third round of layoffs in two years.

District officials said that the positions impacted spanned several categories, and affected 67 employees who work in schools and 44 who work at the central office, including eight school police officers.

Among the job titles that were cut: directors, managers, specialists, staff associates, paraprofessionals, hall monitors, non-instructional assistants, clerical support staff, painters, and employees who work in information technology.

"Due to attrition, teaching positions were not impacted by the reduction in force," school officials said in a statement. "City schools anticipates that many impacted employees will qualify for other positions thus the number of employees displaced will be less than those impacted."

The union representing some of the service workers impacted in the layoffs is blasting the decision as an example of lacking accountability in the school system.

Glenn Middleton, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 67, Local 44, said that his union was also not notified of the layoffs before the district announced they would take place when employees returned from Memorial Day weekend. Similar to assertions made by the city's teachers union, the union maintains that the district's actions violated its contract.

"The hardworking women and men that serve our children on a daily basis deserve much better treatment and fairness," Middleton said in a statement. "We need to have greater accountability and transparency in the operation of this school board."

He added that the union would be discussing plans for action in the immediate future. The teachers union also called on its members to show up if they called for a show of strength.

District officials said the $14 million in savings generated from the job cuts are spread across the district budget, officials said. 

They said that school-level positions were determined after a reconciliation process of budgets submitting by principals in the spring.

A "surplus" pool of positions, which was supposed to be depleted last year to cut costs, also factored into the reduction in force. School officials have not yet responded to a request made last month for the number of staff in the surplus pool.

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