205 fired school employees could be rehired quickly

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By Brent Schanding

About 205 non-tenured educators who received pink slips with their paychecks Friday could be rehired, Shelby County Schools Superintendent James Neihof told The Sentinel-News on Tuesday.  

There are more than 212 anticipated openings in the district that have been posted on the Kentucky Department of Education's Human Resources Web site, school officials reported, and interviewing for those positions will likely begin after May 15. 

"Many principals will move forward with the hiring process very quickly," Neihof said.

All district educators -- including teachers, principals, guidance counselors and administrators -- with fewer than five years on the job received letters last week stating their positions would not be renewed under their limited contracts.

The practice isn't uncommon, according to district officials, and was necessary because of projected shortfalls in next year's budget, Neihof said.

District officials expect the state could trim as much as 8 percent from its operating budget next year, which could come at the expense of some personnel.

"We have to take that worst-case scenario and budget," Neihof said.

All employees who received non-renewal letters will be able to reapply for their jobs, Neihof said.

The completion of the Martha Layne Collins Secondary Center for the 2010-2011 school year could create a need for more school personnel in the coming years. 

However, staffing allocations haven't been conducted for the new school, Neihof said.