Flint Community Schools' proposed 2015-16 budget shrinks deficit, calls for 55 teacher layoffs

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FLINT (WJRT) - (06/25/15) - Flint teachers' response to the district's proposed budget for the 2015-16 school year was an angry one.

Not so much because there were 55 layoffs - that was already in the district's Deficit Elimination Plan.

The issue was the timing, with layoffs effective June 30 and insurance expiring the very next day.

"You're now telling me three (business) days before I lose my insurance, as a cancer survivor, that I have to get in and get my blood work done to make sure the cancer isn't coming back," said teacher Robyn Seelye.

United Teachers of Flint, the teachers' union, wasn't happy.

"We just have no words for this. We're just angry, we're disappointed, we're hurt and we're hoping they look at the human side of this," said President Eric Kennedy.

That wasn't the only problem. Kennedy says the wrong names were on the layoff list that was supposed to be voted on Thursday.

"We believe the names were done incorrectly. They were laid off out of turn, out of order," Kennedy said.

That's why the board voted to table the move to get the layoffs done right, but make no mistake, they are coming - likely next month or early August.

"Anything we do outside of that deficit elimination plan not only puts our district at risk of going deeper into a deficit, but it also gives the state permission to come in and snatch what we do have and put a halt to all the progression that we're making," said Board Vice President Roneeka Pleasant-Brown.

It's progression that's seen the deficit shrink from about $21.9 million last fall to $16.4 million currently and to a projected $13.9 million at the end of next school year.



 
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