Two dozen York City School District teachers, mostly at the secondary level, were formally notified they were being furloughed on Monday, according to union and district officials.

The York City Education Association and the district had individual meetings with affected teachers, which was all middle and high school staff with the exception of one or two elementary teachers, according to Clinton Gibbs, the association's attorney.

The union will challenge the furloughs. Teachers are upset at the timing of the layoffs, as the hiring process for other districts is mostly done with by this point in the summer, Gibbs said.

"This doesn't look like good management, does it?" Gibbs said.

Superintendent Sharon Miller said the furloughs were first considered in the spring, after the district analyzed enrollment for the past five years. Enrollment has decreased by 968 students, or 26 percent, from when it was around 3,730 students five years ago at the two middle schools and high school.

"It takes time to process this," Miller said.

Miller said city schools had put off layoffs by not filling vacant positions created by retirements or teachers moving to other districts, and by shifting teacher assignments.


But now the district faces the addition this fall of a fifth grade at Helen Thackston Middle Charter School, which already has sixth through eighth grades, as well as the expansion of Crispus Attucks YouthBuild Academy to include ninth through 11th grades in addition to serving students ages 17-21. Miller said an additional 200 students from city schools could leave the district for charter schools in the upcoming school year.

The 24 teacher furloughs will help compensate for the enrollment decrease, Miller said, but will not lead to a huge increase in class size. The number of furloughs ended up being a little more than half of the original projection, as the district was able to reduce it because of some teachers taking jobs elsewhere and other departures.

Teachers who were laid off were offered long-term and day-to-day substitute positions, and will be the first to be hired back if or when the district needs to fill those positions again, Miller said.

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