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Roanoke schools lay off 58 employees, privatize bus system

April 8th, 2009 12:00 am by Staff Report

Accoreding to a report in the Roanoke Times the city's School Board has voted to  to lay off 58 employees, including 15 teachers, and privatize the district's school bus system. But the board postponed until Friday morning a decision on redrawing attendance areas to study further how the new zones would affect Fishburn Park Elementary School.

Tuesday's meeting resolved many of the long-running debates that have gripped teachers, parents and school employees since the start of the year, as officials struggled to contain a yawning budget deficit brought about by the economic recession. Hundreds of people filled the auditorium at the Roanoke Valley Governor's School, where the meeting was held, and an overflow crowd was forced to stand in the lobby, where the proceedings were inaudible.

Officials originally had warned that they would have to lay off more than 100 employees, but late infusions of cash from the federal stimulus package and from the Roanoke City Council made it possible to pare down that number.

Superintendent Rita Bishop said many of the teacher layoffs would come from middle schools.

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