DPS lays off 300

DETROIT - Detroit Public Schools has sent layoff notices to more than 300 employees as part of a plan to address a $408 million budget deficit, The Detroit News reported. Various district employee unions said the move affects primarily bus attendants, substitute custodians and social workers.

The school board voted in June to make $522 million in cuts, including laying off more than 1,700 employees, when the deficit became apparent, The News reported.

Some parents and union officials have said that laying off bus attendants who assist special needs students will create a safety issue. District spokesman Steve Wasko told The News, "Clearly, there is no intent to put any student in harm's way."

He said the district is implementing a deficit reduction plan as required by the state.

The Detroit News, "DPS sparks ire with 300 layoffs," Oct. 4, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "Audit details DPS woes," Oct. 2, 2008