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Report: City Schools Prepared To Lay Off 1,000 Employees

BALTIMORE (WJZ)- As a way to close a $130 million budget gap, Baltimore City schools are gearing up to lay off more than 1,000 employees, according to a report from our news partners at The Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore City schools are bleeding money and historic cuts are coming. Possibly more than 100,000 layoffs. The City schools' CEO says that includes teachers.

Teachers' Union President Marietta English tells WJZ it's all news to her.

"There was never a mention of layoffs or furloughs or any of that until yesterday," says English. "We don't need to lose one person to a layoff. It doesn't do anything to help the city. It's not going to help our children at all."

Other threatened cuts are school closures, program cuts--like art and career preparation and dramatic increases in class sizes. Some city taxpayers are outraged.

"That is a horrible idea that kids in City schools are already strapped for actual good education," says Tezhina Bradely.

Almost ten years ago, gambling was sold to Marylanders as a way to fund education.

"I hope that the voters support this. I don't believe that slots is the total answer to restoring fiscal responsibility to our state or funding education, it is a part of the answer," said former governor Martin O' Malley in 2008.

But with billions coming in from casinos to the education trust fund--the Baltimore Sun found money that would have gone to schools without gambling is being redirected, leaving schools with less cash than ever.

"If Baltimore City schools continue to be cut, yeah, there will be layoffs," says Delegate Curt Anderson. "We're not going to let the worst case scenario happen."

"Education needs to be a national priority. We say it is," says Senator Ben Cardin.

If lawmakers don't act, Baltimore City schools will look dramatically different on July 1.

That's when City schools' CEO says she will have no choice but to slash every department.

"We know that the success of our school system really is the backbone of our city," said Dr. Sonja Santelises.

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