Memphis, Tn – The Transition Planning Commission approved a plan Thursday which would cut hundreds of jobs to help fill the 67 million dollar budget gap for the new Unified School District. The plan could send some teachers packing in the 2013-2014 school year.
Last week the budget gap was 89 million dollars. The TPC has managed to make cuts since then, but not without leaving many jobs on the chopping block.
Commissioners spent more than three hours on this plan. It includes cutting 280 teachers, 250 full time staff, 100 assistant principals, and 115 librarians. That’s expected to help save 54 million dollars.
Martavius Jones was the only commissioner present who voted against the plan.
“There were a number of recommendations that seemed to be draconian cuts. We’re talking about building a world class educational system, moving forward, I understand the economic challenges we face today, but we seem to want a public school outcome, but only willing to make the investment in public education of half or even 30 to 40 percent of a private school,” said Jones.
Despite the 54 million dollars in savings from cutting jobs, there’s still a budget gap. The TPC hopes to collect up to 29 million through some initiatives, including, possible city grants, and repayment by the city of a pending legal ruling.
The TPC is expected to review the entire plan on June 14. The Unified School Board will then vote on the plan in August before presenting it to the Tennessee Department of Education.