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More than 150 RCSD teachers to be 'displaced,' fewer teachers laid off

east_protest.jpg
Max Schulte
/
WXXI News file photo
East High School student Prosper Holmes marches Dec. 9 with other students who walked out of classes in protest of teacher layoffs across the Rochester City School District.

More than 150 Rochester public school teachers will be assigned new roles in the new year as a result of the mass staff layoffs approved earlier this month to close a budget gap.

In a statement released on New Year's Eve, the Rochester City School District announced that 154 teachers will be "displaced," meaning they will either be relocated to a new school to fill vacancies or remain in their schools in a new capacity, when schools reopen Jan. 6.

The statement read that 73 of the teachers will be moved to a new building, while the remaining 81 will stay put, but serve in a new role. All of the teachers were notified of their new assignments on Monday, according to the statement.

Two weeks ago, the Board of Education laid off 175 district employees, including 109 teachers, to make up for the district overspending $30 million last academic year and to bridge a resulting budget gap this academic year, estimated at around $65 million.

The number of teachers laid off has since been reduced, according to both the district and the teachers' union, the Rochester Teachers Association.

In its statement, the district said four of those teachers were recalled due to retirements and resignations, putting the number of laid-off teachers at 105.

The president of the union, however, put the number of laid-off teachers at 97 in a phone interview minutes after the district released its statement.

"That's 12 fewer than the 109 that was announced," said the president, Adam Urbanksi. "These reductions in layoffs is partly due to the district reassessing and partly to an increase in the number of teacher resignations."

"I wouldn't be surprised if this pattern continues," he added. "I think the confidence in this district for being a stable place for teaching is plummeting."

District spokesperson Brendan O'Riordan acknowledged that the numbers could continue to change.

"Those numbers might change daily based on attrition," O'Riordan said. "People could retire tomorrow and that has an impact on staffing down the road."

David Andreatta is CITY's editor. He can be reached at dandreatta@rochester-citynews.com.