Chesterfield school system begins laying off workers

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – For months they've been bracing themselves for the news. Today it finally came. Chesterfield County public schools officially started laying off employees.

Today, Chesterfield schools began meeting with employees in person. 300 positions will be eliminated, but between resignations and retirement the school system says about 150 employees will actually be laid off.

"The economy is bad. They're trying to find cuts, but I don't feel that education is the place to do that," said parent Rashid Coleman.

Coleman, a father of a Chesterfield fifth grader, is heart-broken. He can't believe the day's come for dozens of teachers to be let go.

"Hopefully there will be some bigger support within the schools, and within the counties, and the communities to help compensate what's missing with the lack of school teachers," said Coleman.

Many teachers, administrators and support staff were warned weeks ago by their supervisors, but one teacher who didn't want to be identified says the news didn't sink in until today.

Teachers are being let go at the Fulgham Center. One teacher tells us she met with someone in personnel. Her last day will be June 18 the last day of school. The school system will honor contacts paying and covering benefits. Some employees are being asked to re-apply for a job. They will go on a re-call list- the last day for call backs is June 30.

Some employees are hopeful they will get a call to return. It depends on resignations and retirements and attrition. By the start of next school year, Chesterfield will have eliminated 600 positions in just two years.

Today, Chesterfield County public schools released this statement, it reads in part: "It weighs heavy on our hearts to know that we will be losing valuable members of our family who have been instrumental in our academic success."

The school system has notified every employee who will be out of a job next year. We will get the final number of lay-offs next Tuesday when the school board adopts the budget for next school year.

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