Dearborn School District Lays Off 57 Parapros, Calls Back 34 Teachers
A reduction in federal title funds and existing budget issues has led to a loss in classroom paraprofessionals, while staffing moves and open positions have made way for 34 teacher recalls.
Good and bad news for employees of the Dearborn Public Schools district played out with little discussion Monday night when the Dearborn Board of Education laid off 55 instructional paraprofessionals and two bilingual paraprofessionals, and recalled 34 teachers.
The layoffs were the result in a reduction of federal Title I funds, and were called “unfortunate” by Superintendent Brian Whiston. “It’s not the kind of thing you like to do,” he said.
Paraprofessionals–who handle many tasks involving assisting children in classrooms–are represented by the Dearborn Federation of School Employees.
DFSE President Rodger Bartles said he believed that the schools would be able to retain Title I funds that were lost, and without those dollars, prospects looked grim for this contingent of his membership.
“We believe that we’ll get some of those funds back, but we don’t know when,” he said. “We were able to place may of our paraprofessionals, but we knew without the title money, the number of layoffs would be god-awful.”
The paraprofessionals were warned of impending layoffs about 10 days ago, and will be formally notified now that the board has voted in favor of the terminations. The paraprofessionals were laid off in accordance with their job descriptions. All special education paraprofessionals kept their positions, as did most bilingual parapros.
Teachers Brought Back
However, 34 teachers received good news when the board voted to re-appoint them from layoff status back into the classroom. Most are filling positions that were occupied by another person who was laid off, transferred or resigned, but some are returning to their former positions.
In July, the district laid off nearly 50 teachers amid a $10 million budget shortfall.