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Jersey City School District May Lay Off Hundreds: Report

Several dozen people attended the Jersey City school board meeting Monday night to protest proposed staff cuts.
Several dozen people attended the Jersey City school board meeting Monday night to protest proposed staff cuts. Photo Credit: Screen grab

Following a marathon board meeting Monday night, the Jersey City Board of Education voted to lay off more than 400 staff.

The layoffs would take effect at the end of the school year.

School officials blamed a $33 million reduction in state aid for forcing them to cut positions including 250 teachers , NJSpotlight reported. Overall, the district is facing a $120 million budget shortfall.

But NJ Spotlight also reported that the school board debated other measures in a bid to minimize or completely avoid layoffs. The district is contemplating selling buildings and using a payroll tax to help bridge the funding gap.

“We might be able to walk away with minimal or possibly even zero layoffs but that is going to be a function of the administration" Jersey City Board of Education president Sudhan Thomas was quoted saying by NJ Spotlight.

Last week, another large urban school district, Paterson, announced more than 200 layoffs as well as a 14 percent increase in school taxes due to budget woes.

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