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Workshops offer help for laid-off teachers
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When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 4 and 5

Where: The Atlanta Marriott Century Center, 2000 Century Blvd. NE, Atlanta, and Atlanta Airport Marriott, 4711 Best Road, Atlanta

More info:


Professional Association of Georgia Educators: Learn more about the workshops and other resources available to laid-off school personnel.

Georgia Department of Labor: Learn more about resources available to the unemployed.

With thousands laid off due to school budget cuts across the state, many of those former employees are now struggling to pick up the pieces.

To help provide answers, the Georgia Department of Labor has partnered with the Georgia Association of Educators, the Georgia Federation of Teachers and the Professional Association of Georgia Educators to host workshops around the state.

Locally, 15 Gainesville City Schools employees will not be returning for the 2010-2011 school year due to eliminated positions, contracts not being renewed or resignations. In the Hall County school system, five lost their jobs for the upcoming school year because their positions were eliminated.

Layoff numbers for both systems were significantly lower than this time last year. Prior to the 2009-2010 school year, Hall County didn’t offer contracts to 100 teachers, but the system was later able to rehire 23 of those people.

The city system initially reduced staff by about 60 positions but later cut the number of laid-off personnel to about 20.

For those who have been laid off, the nearest workshops will be June 4 and 5 in Atlanta. During the workshops, attendees will learn about unemployment benefits and available career transition services.

Officials with PAGE, one of the largest professional teacher organization in Georgia, also have produced a series of videos answering questions newly laid-off teachers may have.

“We started out by brainstorming what we would worry about first if we were in those situations,” said Tim Callahan, PAGE public relations director. “We felt like there were hundreds, if not thousands, of our 79,000 members that have been affected by layoffs, and they needed help finding resources and answers.”

While the workshops may help unemployed teachers with immediate needs, many education officials fear there may be more long-term ramifications to the layoffs.

“One of the saddest things about this entire situation is that we may lose a whole generation of young teachers who will find jobs (in other fields) and probably will never return to education,” Callahan said. “I’m afraid that the longer legacy will be that we’re going to lose a lot of good people.”

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