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Philadelphia School District Laying Off 141 Nurses and Assistants

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It's another round of layoffs in the School District of Philadelphia, right before the holidays.

Pink slips are going out this week for 141 school nurses and non-teaching assistants, as the school district continues to slash spending to balance its books.

The district has already cut $629 million from this year's budget (see previous story), but earlier this month the district said it would have to cut $15 million more (another related story).

(Pedro Ramos, in file photo)

After Wednesday's School Reform Commission meeting, chairman Pedro Ramos (right) said the cuts are necessary.

"I do believe that we are on course in taking the steps necessary to implement the reductions that are required to work toward financial stability for the school district for this fiscal year," he told KYW Newsradio.

Fernando Gallard, spokesman for the School District of Philadelphia released the following statement:

"The School District realizes that it is never a good time to lay off employees, and that is especially true during the holidays. These reductions are very difficult but unavoidable. The District has had many hard choices to make to close its budget gap and, in making across the board reductions, the District has focused on maintaining its academic programs and support for those programs to the greatest extent possible. These lay offs are part of our effort to stabilize the District and, while the timing is unfortunate, delaying these actions will only exacerbate the problem."

Jerry Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, said in a statement that the union will fight the layoffs using every legal means possible.


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