Birmingham Public Schools planning teacher layoffs amid budget shortfall

The budget shortfall in totality is $14 million

Blame bad budget assumptions and consistently declining enrollment for the budget hole the Birmingham Public Schools is in. The budget shortfall in totality is $14 million.

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. – Blame bad budget assumptions and consistently declining enrollment for the budget hole the Birmingham Public Schools is in.

The budget shortfall in totality is $14 million.

The issue became apparent in March, and while the district is offsetting some of it with rainy day funds and grant monies, it’s now confirming that teacher layoffs are a necessity.

“I do want to acknowledge that the district is dealing with some tough decisions right now,” said Dr. Embekka Roberson at the Board of Education meeting.

Affected staff is being brought in and told this week they are being laid off. The district is, at this point, not detailing how many are affected.

The Birmingham Education Association sent this statement:

“Since the district is still actively informing teachers about their future employment status, I do not feel it is appropriate to comment on specific details related to the meetings taking place this week. Neither the evaluation format or the layoff and recall process are legally subject to union negotiations with school districts. By state law, a teacher’s most recent evaluation is the first factor taken into consideration in the layoff procedure. Other discretionary considerations set forth by the BPS Human Resources Department included documented disciplinary actions, attendance, recent work experience, extra contributions to the school or district, relevant special training, and seniority.

The Birmingham Education Association does not have any formal say in how layoff and recall guidelines are executed. However, we have been invited to be present at all the scheduled layoff meetings and our voice ensures that the process is followed with consistency and fidelity. In order to maintain valuable programs and high-quality teachers, we have asked difficult questions, sought clarifications, and advocated on behalf of what is best for students.”

Birmingham Education Association President Amy Denys-Wagner

About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.