1,400 Broward Teachers Let Go On Last Day Of School

FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Thursday was a bitter-sweet day for thousands of school kids in Broward. Not only was it the last day of school but it was also the last on the job for some of their favorite teachers.

Due to a $141 million dollar budget gap, 1,400 teachers were pink slipped at the end of this school year.

At Everglades High School, ten teachers have been told they may be out of work, including band director Marcos Rodriguez.

“If you would have managed your money properly, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” Rodriguez said as he lashed out at the Broward School Board. “You don’t take a head coach and replace him, you need stability in a band program.”

Rodriguez has one glimmer of hop, if no one fills his position, he can re-apply for his job.

Others are not so lucky. Seven hundred of the teaching positions eliminated were hires from last year paid for by stimulus dollars. Those teachers were told those were one-time dollars and they likely would not be re-hired.

The other 700 job cuts were 1st and 2nd year teachers. Unlike in years past, this year there was not enough money to hire them.

But the bad news for Broward’s teachers doesn’t end there. Hundreds of teachers are expected to be ‘surplused’ – meaning they will get to keep their jobs but they will be teaching at a new school and possibly a new subject. Also they, along with school administrators and staff, may have to take up to two weeks of unpaid time off.

Students, the one’s who will be impacted the most by the cuts, were upset at the thought of losing their favorite teachers.

“You can feel stuck because if you lose a teacher that has helped you, you’re not moving forward,” said freshman Jorge Hernandez.

And parents are just as worried about the state of the schools as the students and teachers.

“If you’re going to have fewer teachers, you will be in worse shape,” lamented one parent.

Broward Schools indicated that by the end of the month, they will know how many teachers will be returning to the classroom and how many will be collecting unemployment.
(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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