Dozens of MCS employees receive pink slips

By Jamel Major - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Dozens of Memphis City Schools employees received pink slips Monday as part of the district's efforts to cut costs.

Jennifer Langston, an Educational Assistant with Memphis City Schools for 10 years, said the possibility of losing her job was devastating.

"That's a loss of my life," Langston said Monday. "That's part of my life gone, because I love working with children."
Monday, Langston arrived at the Messick Training and Adult Center thinking she would be one of the ones who would be handed a separation letter.  Langston said officials told her she may be on the chopping block, but they'd have to contact her later on to let her know.

"I think they would contact the school and the school would contact me," she said.

Roughly 300 teacher assistants are losing their jobs in city schools.

"They're just as surprised as I was to be told they may not have a job," Langston said.

Memphis City Schools budget is more than $900 million for the 2010-2011, school year with about three-fourths of it going to salaries and benefits.  School officials say the cuts are part of a major restructuring plan to save taxpayer dollars.

However, Langston says the loss of teacher aides not only means low morale, it could also mean more work piled on teachers and other staff.

"It's a hard pill to swallow," she said. "It's going to be such a hard workload on these teachers.  It really will be."

District officials say the cuts will not have an impact on student learning.

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