Dozens of teacher, staff layoffs in Flint - WNEM TV 5

Dozens of teacher, staff layoffs in Flint

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It's another blow to teachers in a struggling Mid-Michigan school district. On Monday night members of Flint's school board approved 91 layoffs of teachers and other staff members as it tries to tackle a sizeable deficit.

Kathy Lisk has been teaching in Flint for more than 20 years. She attended the school board meeting.

"It's hard, heartbreaking. These are people's lives, careers and hopefully their passions," Lisk commented.

Lisk's name is not on the list of those who will be handed pink slips. And while she doesn't want to see any teachers go, she realizes something's got to give.

"We're at that point, we either make these really hard decisions now, or we're simply just going to cease to exist," said Lisk.

The district expects about $8 million in revenue to cover costs for the 2014-15 school year. Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins says that's not enough. He says the district must keep spending in check to meet requirements set by the state to help eliminate a $10 million deficit.

Watkins said this is not a move he takes lightly but "in order for the district to survive and flourish, this is what we have to do."

Also at Monday night's meeting, the board approved the teacher's contract ratified just last week.

It includes cuts to health benefits and sick days in lieu of a 19 percent pay cut. The contract saves the district more than $6 million.

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