Planned mid-year layoffs of instructional staff in Dearborn Public Schools have been dodged, the Dearborn Board of Education announced Monday at its board meeting.
A combination of shortfalls in funding and missed Best Practices funds from the state had left the district with a $5.5 million budget gap in November. Rainy day funds, pension contribution reductions, and the implementation of Schools of Choice made up for the majority of that gap. However, the district predicted that $1.1 million of the deficit would have to be made up with teacher layoffs.
Those cuts were expected to be announced at Monday night's meeting. Instead, Superintendent Brian Whiston announced that several mid-year retirements, coupled with cuts in planned spending for substitute teachers, made up for the deficit.
Board Trustee Mary Lane asked, however, that teachers help to keep substitute spending low.
"Most of us feel that it's better to not lay off people and take the savings from substitutes," Lane said. "People are entitled to their days off, but if teachers and staff can assist, it will be greatly appreciated."
It had been expected that around 20 teachers would be let go.
The Schools of Choice move also was able to earn the district $52 per pupil of state funding for meeting seven of eight best practices identified by the state.
Schools of Choice was implemented at Nowlin Elementary School, with six spots opened in their kindergarten class this month. However, as of Monday, only one family had applied for an open spot for their child.