Amid apprehension over budget challenges and potential layoffs, teachers at a Baltimore elementary school collectively called in sick Wednesday.
The teaching staff at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School in East Baltimore did not report to their classrooms Wednesday morning. According to school system officials, “The absences may have been motivated by concerns over budget challenges and potential staff layoffs for the 2017-18 school year, rather than illness.”
Baltimore school officials are facing a $130 million budget deficit. They have requested $65 million from state and city lawmakers to help close the gap, and prevent layoffs of more than 1,000 employees.
Questions remain regarding exactly how many teachers were absent, and whether the entire faculty utilized sick leave. Substitute teachers and other school staff pitched in and “provided instruction for students”.
School system officials announced that “appropriate action will be taken” if it is determined the teachers violated the district’s leave policy.
“I am extremely disappointed that staff members may have chosen to express their anxiety about school budgets by disrupting teaching and learning for our students and compromising students’ access to the services and supports we provide in a safe, positive school environment,” city schools CEO Sonja Santelises said in a statement.
“I encourage all City Schools staff members and the entire City Schools community to seek out ways to advocate for our students that are not at the same time detrimental to the very young people we serve.”
— Devin Bartolotta (@WJZDevin) February 22, 2017
— Paul Gessler (@PaulGessler) February 22, 2017
H/T: The Baltimore Sun
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