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Frederick County schools lay off teachers

By Blair Ames

Thursday - 4/28/2011, 9:30am  ET

Frederick County Public Schools started a reduction in the workforce Wednesday as a number of employees were informed they were laid off, according to Paula Lawton, human resources director.

Lawton didn't give an exact number of employees who will be affected because the process will continue into the next couple of weeks. She said a single-digit number of employees were informed Wednesday.

It was the first day that any affected employees were informed.

She said classes from kindergarten through 12th grade will be affected, but would not say if certain departments were primarily affected.

"Out of respect (for) the employees, I'd like to keep that confidential at the moment," she said.

The terminations will be effective July 1, but the terminated workers will be placed on the priority recall list, which allows the former employee to have a job back within three years if one becomes available.

"This was a very hard day," Lawton said. "Very difficult for our employees to hear the news, and to deliver the news."

The layoffs were not driven by an overall reduction in force or by performance. Changes in school programs and redistricting caused the teachers to be laid off, according to Lawton.

"This was strictly based on the numbers," she said.

For example, if not enough students sign up for a program or class, then there is no need for that teacher. Employees in affected departments are subject to risk based on their seniority.

"Our next critical task will be to monitor the employment stats so that no new teacher is hired before we recall these teachers that have been placed on reduction in force," she said.

Copyright 2011 The Frederick News-Post. All rights reserved.