Layoffs pending as JC school budget nears adoption

Jersey City School Board Trustees are struggling to keep down the number of layoffs.
×
Jersey City School Board Trustees are struggling to keep down the number of layoffs.

More than 270 teachers have received layoff notices issued by the Jersey City school district.

These notices went to nontenured teachers as the district attempts to balance a $120 million budget gap.

The Jersey City Board of Education introduced its $609 million budget in March that would raise school taxes by 10 percent and calls for 415 layoffs.

While the notices do not mean these teachers will be laid off, the district is required to notify staff of the possibility.

Last year, similar notices were issued when the school board faced equally deep cuts. But the layoffs were averted by last-minute reductions in other areas.

Deep cuts in state aid this year as well as underfunding over the last 10 years from the state have put the district in crisis mode this year.

School officials hope the city payroll tax that was initiated in January will help reduce the number of potential layoffs. But city officials were unable to report in late April just how much has been collected. Nor could they confirm other details, such as the total number of company employees who would be subject to the tax.

Brian Platt, city business administrator, said the funds are being deposited into an account dedicated to the schools, with payments to be issued to the district on a monthly or quarterly basis.

The Jersey City Board of Education is expected to adopt its budget on Monday, May 13, at its meeting at the Patricia Noonan Elementary School at 5 p.m.

For updates on this and other stories check hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Al Sullivan can be reached at asullivan@hudsonreporter.com