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Pontiac School District To Lay Off 43 Teachers, 52 Other Employees

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PONTIAC SCHOOL DISTRICT LAYOFFS
The Pontiac School District layoffs, announced Wednesday, March 28, 2012, will occur before June 30 and affect 43 teaches and 52 other employees. The layoffs are part of a larger plan to correct the district's more than $24 million deficit. | Alamy

Pontiac schools will lay off 43 teachers and and 52 other employees before the end of the school year, the district announced Wednesday.

The layoffs, set to occur between April 16 and June 30, come after the state Department of Education contingently agreed to a plan submitted by the district in December to make millions in cuts to correct its deficit. In addition to the layoffs, the plan includes moving the International Technology Academy to Pontiac Middle School and closing Jefferson-Whittier Elementary School.

According to Fox 2, the new round of layoffs will mainly target elementary school teachers and administrators.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Walter L. Burt acknowledged the possible negative effects of the layoffs.

"Layoffs affect our students, the families of our employees and our community. There is a ripple effect," Burt told WDIV. "Normally, we would not recommend taking such drastic measures, but layoffs are critical to the survival of the School District of the City of Pontiac."

In January, the district laid off 32 teachers, though most have been recalled, according to the Oakland Press.

The most recent layoff numbers could also change, according to Fox 2, as the Board of Education Administration reassesses the district. State Superintendent Mike Flanagan wrote earlier this month that he reserves the right to recommend a financial review of Pontiac's district, the first step toward a state-appointed emergency manager for the district.

The rounds of layoffs come after the Pontiac school district's budget deficit hit more than $24 million, double its amount two years ago, according to the Oakland Press.

As Pontiac schools face drastic cuts, federal officials are investigating corruption in the district. Earlier in March, Jumanne Sledge, a former schools administrator, was charged with embezzling $236,000 in school funds.

For more local schools coverage, see HuffPost Detroit's Big News page on Education.

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