Ann Arbor schools recalls more than 100 laid-off teachers
More than 100 laid-off teachers in the Ann Arbor Public Schools can prepare to return to their classrooms this fall.
The Board of Education approved its first batch of 110 teacher callbacks at Friday's meeting, prior to naming a new superintendent of the district. 123 names still remain on the layoff list.
AAPS issued pink slips to 233 teachers in May to help the board address an $8.7 million budget shortfall for the 2013-14 academic year. The final budget that was passed in June calls for reducing about 37 teaching positions. Those reductions that are unable to be made through retirements and resignations will need to be achieved through layoffs.
Central administrators had some good news Friday night: the number of teacher retirements the district has seen this summer increased slightly in the past month from 37 to 41 total retirements.
"The hope is still being able to recall everyone and meet the requirements of the budget that was passed," said David Comsa, deputy superintendent of human resources and legal services.
Part of what the board approved Friday included authorizing the administration to continue recalling teachers going forward, without having to come back before the board each time there was a new group. Also, the next regular board meeting is not until Aug. 14 and that is getting too close to the start of the school year, said Human Resource Services Director Cindy Ryan.
"We want to keep doing this as quickly as we can," Ryan said, explaining the administration is trying to call back as many teachers as possible before Aug. 1.
Aug. 1 is an important date in terms of being able to save on unemployment costs, she said. The district is required to pay unemployment insurance for every laid-off staff member.
Officials set aside $500,000 in the district's 2013-14 budget for unemployment costs. If the district can recall all 233 of its laid off teachers and still achieve the position savings through retirements and resignations, then the district should be able to return a large portion of that $500,000 to the district's fund equity, or primary savings account balance.