Pittsburgh Public Schools Eliminating 153 Teaching Jobs

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Pittsburgh Public Schools will eliminate 183 jobs next year, most of them teaching positions, because of declining enrollment, officials said.

To be cut are 153 teachers, 16 assistant principals and 14 "swim matrons" who help operate the swimming program, Superintendent Mark Roosevelt and Chief Financial Officer Christopher Berdnik said Friday. The cuts are expected to save $10 million.

Enrollment this school year is 28,265, down about 1,180 students from 2006-07. Enrollment is expected to decrease by another 1,482 students for the next school year.

The district expects to have a deficit of $26.4 million at the end of this year on an operating budget of $526.6 million, and a deficit of nearly $35.6 million at the end of next year if no other actions are taken.

The district has been balancing its budget by tapping its reserves, which total $73.4 million.

The cuts do not automatically translate into layoffs, Roosevelt said.

Roosevelt said 85 teachers have announced plans to retire. A new contract, which increases retirement health care costs for union members who retire after June 30, may prompt others to retire.

John Tarka, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said "the PFT is very concerned about any possible loss of positions and employment. Hopefully, there will be enough retirements so we don't have any job losses."

Roosevelt could not say how many assistant principals might retire before the start of the next school year.

The district has about 2,800 teachers and other professional employees.

Vol. 27, Issue 33

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