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Pinellas won't renew contracts for first- and second-year teachers

To help deal with a worsening budget picture, the Pinellas County School District announced today it will not renew the contracts of 1,100 first- and second-year teachers. District officials said they expect to hire back most of those teachers for next school year. But who returns and where will depend on what slots are available, and that has yet to be determined.

The district suggested it had no choice given recent news that the district's budget hole is likely to bigger than the $60 million it had anticipated. "We want to give assurance to our teachers that we do indeed want them back and we will do everything in our powers to make this a seamless transition," Ron Ciranna, the assistant superintendent for human resources, told The Gradebook in an email. "Believe me, no one wants to do this - however, the Legislature has created a perfect storm and we have to deal with this the best we can."

Ciranna said the teachers will receive notice by May 12. He said they should know by the end of June whether they'll be working in the fall.

Marshall Ogletree, executive director of the Pinellas teachers union, said the district's move was extraordinary but not surprising. "It's unfortunately a practice that's often used when we have uncertain times like we have now," he said. "I suspect most of them will be coming back except those who haven't been judged satisfactory."

If there are any first- and second-year teachers out there who are willing to share what they're feeling right now, by all means contact me at or (727) 893-8873.

Posted by ronmatus at 1:25:00 pm on May 05, 2011