Forty-seven teachers have been sent layoff notices this month, school officials said this week. Layoff of non-tenured teachers are spread across 43 elementary and high schools in Paterson.
Superintendent Eileen Shafer has said the laid off teachers will likely be re-hired before the start of the 2020-21 school year as funds become available as a result of employee retirements. The district has already begun the process to re-hire eight of the non-tenured teachers, said Paul Brubaker, spokesman for the Paterson Public Schools, on Tuesday.
Shafer was able to avert a much larger layoff with $11.6 million in federal Covid-19 funds. School officials were discussing laying off 243 teachers, but were able to bring that figure down to 47.
The district eliminated 17 central office positions and 57 vacancies from the 2020-21 budget. Five aide positions – employees retiring on July 1 – were also eliminated, said Brubaker.
Elimination of the non-tenured teacher and aide positions produced $3 million in savings. Overall, the reduction in force and elimination of vacancies yielded $3.77 million in savings.
The district had a $63.7 million budget shortfall late last year, driven by charter schools, health benefits, and other increasing expenses. School officials reduced the shortfall to $14.6 million two weeks ago. The district had to raise school taxes by 15 percent and shutter two schools to balance its budget.
District officials have said Paterson schools are underfunded by both the state and local taxpayers.
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