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Teacher Layoffs, Increased Class Sizes In D.C. Public Schools

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Montgomery County’s new schools superintendent, Dr. Joshua Starr, is planning a series of town halls and public meetings as a way for parents to get to know him.
J. Durham
Montgomery County’s new schools superintendent, Dr. Joshua Starr, is planning a series of town halls and public meetings as a way for parents to get to know him.

D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee says the District's budget cuts of about $40 million will lead to teacher layoffs and increased class sizes.

Rhee could not say how many of the approximately 4,000 teachers would be laid off. But principals will consider several factors, including the needs of the school and the performance of staff, to decide which positions will be eliminated. Teachers will be informed by September 30, and the layoffs will be effective a month after that.

But that news isn't sitting well with George Parker, head of the Washington Teacher's Union. Parker questions why hundreds of new teachers were hired over the summer, when there were signs the District was in financial trouble.

Parker says the timing of the layoffs, just six weeks into the school year, at best reflects extreme mismanagement. At worst he says it's a sign of disrespect for D.C.'s teachers and students.

Kavitha Cardoza reports...

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