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Most Laid-Off JCPS Employees Are Returning After All

Nearly all Jefferson County Public School employees who received layoff notices last spring will return to the district this fall.

Districts were required to inform the education department last May how many employees would be laid off, or be put on temporary holds. At the time, JCPS officials were uncertain how much funding would become available over the summer. Aside from the 43 layoffs, the district also has an “overstaffing” list, which happens every year. These are employees who aren't likely to remain at their current school because of scheduling changes or student population shifts. But JCPS is able to find other positions for those employees before school starts. The 43 layoffs—which was the most that's occurred in at least the last five years—were partly blamed on state and federal sequester cuts. The layoffs were based on seniority with the newest teachers being let go first, says JCPS Chief Operations Officer Mike Raisor. When the district finds new jobs for those teachers, its again based on seniority. While the bulk of the layoffs were among special education teachers, JCPS was able to salvage some of those positions with funding that has since become available, he says.  District officials also previously said that some of those positions were cut because there are fewer students using special education services. Of the 43 layoffs, all but two physical education teachers will have jobs. Raisor couldn’t comment on the reasons for those two teachers. Out of the 142 overstaffed employees, 138 have been places and the remaining four should be placed before next  week, Raisor says. Of the 129 non-teacher employees who were overstaffed, all but 11 will be working when school goes back into session on Aug. 20. Those 11 will be placed as positions become available, says Raisor. All laid-off early childhood staff are being recalled, except for one. JCPS reports “The funding had to catch up to HR [Human Resources] before they could start the recalls, which are taking place now. Through resignations, retirements, and the fact that we projected cuts higher than they actually were, all but one person on the layoff list will be recalled; many to their same location. The one person in question is on both the layoff list and also lacks credentials.” Additionally, JCPS has also hired an additional 270 teachers, many of them for elementary schools, Raisor says. Raisor expects to report staffing updates to the school board Monday night.