A local school district is looking to tighten its belt in a controversial way.
Saginaw Public Schools is laying off music, art and physical education staff. The school will then assign other teachers to fill those roles.
The plan eliminates 6 1/2 positions as part of the deficit elimination plan submitted to the state last month.
Leann Bauer is with the Michigan Education Association, the organization that represents teachers within the district. Bauer says, "People are very stressed. They haven't had a chance to take another position that might've been available in the district. They haven't had the opportunity to look for jobs elsewhere."
Safiya Mosely, a spokeswoman for the school district, did not give any details as to how many layoffs there would be this year. But Mosely did say that the programs will be offered to students this upcoming school year.
Mosely would not get into specifics about how these classes would be taught. She also says the proposed plan to reduce staffing in fine arts has been in place since July of 2012. And she's confident this year's deficit reduction will be accepted by the state. That said, Mosely realizes layoffs are tough.
Meanwhile, Bauer says there are 19 teachers in the fine arts program, and as of now, none of them know if they'll be one of the six to go.
School officials say students will still get the education they need.
The layoffs will happen gradually over the next three years and are expected to save the school more than $1 million.
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Would you want general education staff teaching fine arts in your child's school?
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