Hundreds of Marion County Teachers, Students Brave the Rain to Protest Layoffs
Published June 6th, 2013
OCALA - Hundreds of teachers, parents and students lined the roads around downtown Ocala on Wednesday to protest the school district's planned teacher layoffs.
Late last week, the Marion County School District announced that it gave layoff notices to 261 employees, both teachers and support workers, as it attempts to fill a nearly $20 million budget deficit.
The district says many of the teachers laid off will be offered jobs as substitutes, a role that comes with half the pay and no benefits.
At least one parent at the rally expressed concerns over how substitute teachers may affect the quality of her childrens' education.
"These substitute teachers, they say they're going to be certified, certified in what?" asked Colleen Giltner, a parent with two kids in the public school system. "Am I going to have a P.E. substitute teacher who has a degree in P.E., teach history?"
While these layoffs have been announced, they have not yet become official. The Marion County School Board is not expected to approve the budget, nor the planned layoffs, until late this summer.
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