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Ann Arbor Schools administration recommends elimination of about 140 teaching and staff positions to address budget shortfall

Ann Arbor School Interim Superintendent Jazz Parks is recommending a reduction of 94 teaching positions to slice over $20 million from the district budget. The School Board will hold a special meeting Monday night to vote on the package.

Teachers and their allies held a rally on Wednesday in front of Pioneer High School before the School Board meeting.

The number of cuts accounts for about 6% of the teaching staff. The actual number of layoffs will be determined by how many teachers decide to retire or take the severance package agreed to this week by the teachers’ union and the administration.

AAEA President Fred Klein called the number of cuts alarming, but he hopes enough teachers accept the voluntary severance package to avoid layoffs.

“If we get over a hundred people, there’s a pretty nice incentive for folks to take that and leave the district, so that would be more than the number that they are seeing to layoff in the teacher ranks.”

Staff will have to send their notice of resignation by June 1st.

Board President Torchio Feaster says it has been a very difficult several weeks for everyone in Ann Arbor.

“We tried what to do what’s in the best interest of the community, what’s in the best interest of the district. Hopefully, we’ll get things figured out by Monday at our next meeting and begin start moving things forward.”

District officials say the dramatic cuts were needed after an audit revealed the previously unknown shortfall.

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News Reporter and Host Kevin Meerschaert was a student reporter at WEMU in the early 90s. After another 30 years in the public radio business and stops in Indiana, Maryland, Florida, and New Mexico, Kevin is back to where it all began.
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