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'Funding Cliff' Leads to Job Losses in Florida District

More than 1,400 teachers in the 257,000-student Broward school district were told today that their contracts would not be renewed, a direct result of the end of federal stimulus funding.

From an article in The Miami Herald:

The first to lose their jobs are those who have been with the school district for less than two years or those who signed a one-year contract this year. Those jobs were paid for by federal stimulus money that isn't being renewed.

"It's unfortunate we have to say goodbye to so many valuable teachers,'' said School Board Member Jennifer Gottlieb, adding she was shocked by the number. "It's a sign of the terrible budget situation we are in.''

Broward, the nation's seventh-largest district, is facing a $140 million shortfall and will likely have to lay off more teachers in the weeks ahead. This same problem is facing districts all over the country; my colleague Nirvi Shah recently wrote about districts making cuts in their special education programs because teachers were hired with stimulus funds that are no longer there.

The federal government estimates that 275,000 teaching jobs were saved or created by money sent to schools through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Some teachers may end up rehired if they teach in areas where there are shortages of educators, a spokeswoman from the district said.

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