Layoffs in Southfield

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Anticipating a 350-student loss and consequential drop in state funding, Southfield Public Schools likely will lay off some 150 employees before the 2009-2010 school year, C&G News reported.

The positions are across the board, including teachers, aides, secretaries and administrators, Ken Siver, deputy superintendent, told C&G News, though final decisions will not be made until later this month.

“We’ve found places where it was good to have this extra staff, but we can no longer afford it,” he said. “When you have money, you spend it differently than when you don’t.”

Siver acknowledged that voters might not understand why, after passing a renewal millage in November, the district still must make cuts, according to the C&G News. The millage provides about half of district revenue, the report said.

Southfield teachers and the district have been in contract negotiations since August, according to C&G News. Patricia Haynie, executive director of the Southfield Coordinating Council of the Michigan Education Association, told C&G that there has been “very little progress.”

The Southfield board voted a year ago to privatize transportation, custodial and food service as a way to save money.

C&G News, “150 to be laid off from Southfield Public Schools,” April 16, 2009

Michigan Education Report, “Detroit not the only school district seeing red,” June 30, 2008