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GCPS denies mass layoffs

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

SUWANEE — Gwinnett County Public Schools does not plan to address a projected $85 million shortfall by firing hundreds of teachers, a spokeswoman said.

“Oh, heck, no,” spokeswoman Sloan Roach said.

School principals are developing staffing plans for next year. As a result, some class sizes may rise, and some teachers may be displaced, Roach said. She said the school system’s priority will be to place those displaced teachers in new jobs before hiring anyone from outside the district.

Since the plans are still being developed, the total number of teachers that will be displaced has not been determined, Roach said.

Some cuts will be addressed by retirements and normal attrition, Roach said. Additionally, the school system will be going through its annual nonrenewal process.

The nonrenewal of teachers’ contracts is based solely on performance, Roach said.

“Nonrenewals have nothing to do with school staffing plans or budget cuts,” Roach said.

Many teachers whose contracts were not renewed last year said they had satisfactory job performance and felt they were let go for financial reasons.

Several of the teachers filed an ethics complaint with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission against Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks, alleging the schools chief had lied about why they lost their jobs.

The PSC decided not to investigate, because it felt the matter was an employment issue.