Flint schools call back 140 laid off teachers and support staff - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Flint schools call back 140 laid off teachers and support staff

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(10/04/12) - More than 100 Flint teachers and support staff will return to the classroom after being laid off for weeks.

The call backs affect 140 people, including 77 teachers. The news came Wednesday night at the Flint school board meeting.

Some of these staff members are title one teachers. That means their salaries and benefits are paid with federal money set aside for districts with economically disadvantaged kids.

According to the teachers union, title one funding did not come in on time. When that happened in the past, the district made it up by taking from the general fund.

But that wasn't an option this year, because Flint Schools are operating under a deficit elimination plan filed with the state.

Teachers union president Ethel Johnson said the late call backs caused Flint to lose some good teachers to other districts that could hire them right away. The union hopes the staff increase will alleviate some classroom size problems and boost teacher morale.

"It's just exciting to have 77 come back. A lot of them were subbing already so now they can come back to work and get benefits," said Johnson.    

Some of the parents we talked to say classroom size in some schools is a big problem. Jennifer Redocks' three kids attend Potter Elementary School on Flint's east side.

"I love this school, my kids love this school, they've been going here for two years now," she said.

When Redocks and other parents heard more teachers were on their way back to the district, they're hoping some of them teach at Potter. "I think it's great, there needs a lot of teacher help in that school."

"That's really awesome because they need more help. The classrooms are big. My children have about 28 to 30 some kids in each class," Tammy Barrett added.

With more teachers in classrooms and better enrollment numbers than expected, union president Johnson believes the school year is off to a pretty good start. "We are very happy with what's going on in the district right now."

Johnson also said there's a chance some middle and high school teachers may also get re-hired in the coming weeks.

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