The Recovery School District, the state agency that governs most of the public schools in Orleans Parish, is moving to lay off almost 200 teachers. Layoffs at the Recovery District have become an annual occurrence as the district turns more of its traditional schools over to independently run charters, which now educate about 80 percent of students in New Orleans.
Superintendent Patrick Dobard said that 117 employees will be let go as a result of school closings or the dropping of certain grades at various traditional schools. Another 82 employees, he said, will be cut for ineffective ratings on their evaluations.
It’s the second year that the district has used teacher evaluations to decide who will lose their jobs, a controversial and growing trend nationwide. District officials said that they will be looking to fill some — though likely not all — of those 82 slots with other candidates and could rehire some of the employees being laid off simply because their school is closing or being turned into a charter.
The Orleans Parish School Board, which governs about 17 schools with roughly a quarter of the city’s students, will also likely have to trim staff over the summer. Stan Smith, the district’s incoming interim Superintendent, said that some number of jobs will be cut because of a loss of federal grant dollars, among other factors. Smith Couldn’t say yet how many jobs will be lost. It may depend on how many district staff plan on retiring this year, he said, but the district should have a solid number by mid-July.