By Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2020

BALTIMORE (AP) - Baltimore City Schools plans to lay off about 450 temporary employees and halt hiring systemwide as it tries to make up for a $21 million budget shortfall incurred during the coronavirus pandemic, according to school officials.

The layoffs, affecting many full-time employees, including some teachers and teacher’s assistants, are expected to save about $3.7 million in spending by the end of the fiscal year next summer, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Baltimore City Schools CEO Sonja Santelises said the budget gap was caused by a reduction in some federal reimbursements during the pandemic combined with the added costs to provide about 55,000 laptops and 15,000 internet hotspots to students learning remotely, among other factors.

The $21 million figure represents a small fraction of the system’s $1.1 billion budget, but Santelises said expenses could rise as the system moves to implement a hybrid model with students both in classrooms and online.

Baltimore City Schools could rehire some of the laid-off workers if Congress provides additional aid to governments or school districts, Santelises added.


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