Of the 482 teachers who received layoff notices in June, a total of 89 teachers will now be called back, due to factors including identification of additional funding sources and the late resignations of other staff members. The callbacks will come as welcome news to district educators, some of whom received their notices at the beginning of the summer break from classrooms in MPS, immediately after the passage of a new district budget that laid off teachers for the first time in almost 30 years.
“The teachers may have been on summer break, but we haven’t stopped thinking about them,” said Superintendent Gregory E. Thornton. “We have been vigilant in our search for ways to get educators back into the classroom.” MPS Human Resources director Dr. Karen Jackson said she understands the news of a restored job will be a relief to many employees’ families, but added a caution. “These layoff numbers have always been fluid,” Dr. Jackson said. “There are the very real challenges of a tight budget. There is the ebb and flow of vacancies and retirements.” The opportunity to restore positions evolved for a number of reasons, including:
- The restoration of funding for SAGE classrooms. SAGE (Student Achievement Guarantee in Education) is a state program providing support for smaller class sizes. Additional SAGE dollars restored to school budgets will allow for the recall of 26 teachers who are certified in pre-kindergarten through grade 8.
- Review of certifications. Thirty-seven teachers ( preK-grade 8 ) will be called back after a review of certifications.
- Identification of unique needs. After a School Board resolution was approved July 1, staffing levels were reviewed for the district’s unique schools, such as Montessori, IB and language immersion schools. As a result, 13 teachers will be recalled to serve in positions that require these hard-to-fill skill sets.
- Late resignations. Thirteen teachers resigned; allowing the district to call back thirteen laid off teachers.
There may be additional teacher recalls as more vacancies occur, and as the seniority reassignment process continues. MPS will send the 89 recall notices today through e-mail. Employees who expect they are in any of the recall groups should check their district email accounts, and then look for both a certified letter and a letter through the U.S. Mail.
Superintendent Thornton thanked the MTEA (Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association) for its assistance during a difficult time for the district. Dr. Thornton also acknowledged the Board of School Directors’ commitment to fiscal responsibility. “It’s great to announce some job restorations, but we cannot lose sight of the fact that hundreds of our employees will remain on layoff, and the financial picture will not get brighter soon.”