FWCS Finalizes 311 Layoffs

By John W. Davis

June 18, 2010 Updated May 10, 2010 at 11:20 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - 311 Fort Wayne Community School employees will be laid off. 91 of the layoffs will be permanent.

Indiana's NewsCenter has learned 284 affected employees will be full-time teachers.

The other 27 affected employees consists of part-time workers, specialists and coordinators.

Administrators said the decision to layoff and then re-hire teachers, will allow them to properly staff the district's 11 LEAD schools.

FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said the process will narrow a teacher's focus.

That will help them learn how to reach and teach each and every student in their respective classrooms.

Meanwhile, laid off workers will be able to apply to work at LEAD schools.

However, laid off workers will not be eligible until the third round of LEAD school job fairs.

Union representatives said Monday's decision is devastating for FWCS teachers.

"Its traumatic when you hear your name. Teachers have known the numbers for a while but have not really realized how far back it goes and who it was going to involve," said Steve Brace, the Executive Director of the Teachers Union.

Laid off teachers received the news in-person Monday from their principals.

Formal letters will be passed out Thursday.

Union representatives said that no concessions could have been made to prevent the layoffs.

Meanwhile, Union representatives said they are doing everything they can to get all laid off teachers, including 91 slated to be permanently let go, back into the classroom.

"It's going to be impossible to look at increasing the number of staff members you have if your budget keeps shrinking because 80 to 90% of all of our general fund budget pays people," said FWCS Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson.

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