The Jersey City Board of Education fired eight district workers at a special meeting on Friday afternoon after giving them only 48 hours notice that their employment would be discussed. Did they make the right call?
JC BOE Counsel Hope Blackburn, Human Resources Director Celeste Williams and Facilities Director Kevin O’Reilly, all high-ranking members of the administration, were all terminated two days ago.
However, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marcia Lyles insisted that they at least be given another 60 days with the district so that they could have time to seek employment elsewhere and the board eventually obliged.
A source who was supportive of the firings, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, said that everyone who lost their job did not have the proper qualifications for their position or had a very low-show job.
The same source indicated that the employees were only afforded 48 hours notice because a decision had to be made on their employment by June 30 or they would automatically be rehired for the 2018-2019 scholastic year.
The Jersey Journal has more details in their report that broke late Friday night.
After a last minute budget deal between Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and the state legislature was announced late yesterday, Jersey City BOE President Sudhan Thomas said on Facebook that this means a $150 million budget shortfall for the district over the next seven years – intimating that layoffs would be inevitable.
“JCBOE will now have to prepare for a $150 Million State aid cut over 7 years which will essentially have a $100 million net effect cut on the district’s budget . This is of course if the payroll tax projections of $75 million hold good,” he wrote.
“The district is already under funded by $3,300 per student per year totaling $130 Million. We will not be able provide a through and efficient education for our 30,000 children as enshrined in the constitution through these draconian cuts that will decimate this district by $250 Million.”