Nassau County school district releases 32 employees

Employees dismissed as district tries to make up for enrollment shortfall

NASSAU COUNTY, Fla. – The Nassau County School District is laying off 26 teachers and six paraprofessionals in an effort to soften the massive financial hit expected to accompany a much lower-than-expected fall enrollment.

The 32 employees were in their first year of employment with the district, also referred to as “probationary status," Assistant Superintendent Mark Durham said. The employees were notified of the layoffs Sept. 11 and their final date of employment is set for Friday.

The 2020-2021 school year saw enrollment fall well below the February projection of 12,620 students. As of Thursday, Durham told News4Jax the district has about 11,800 across the three learning options; traditional-brick and mortar, school-based distance learning and Nassau Virtual.

The district initially estimated a loss of $8 million in funding based on the enrollment drop, and the layoffs are expected to save the district around $2 million.

“The teachers released have been given the opportunity to interview for 14 positions in the district that had not been filled and several have already accepted new positions,” Durham said. “All 14 of the open positions will be filled by teachers who were released.”

Marian Phillips, president of the Nassau Educational Support Personnel Association, said a total of 10 non-instructional positions were eliminated including the six dismissed paraprofessionals. Since that happened, Phillips said, four positions were made available again indicating a possible net loss of two employees.

Phillips said the situation with the layoffs is fluid and subject to change.

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