Charlotte County slashes teaching positions

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PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — The Charlotte County School District will eliminate nearly 50 teaching positions because not enough children are enrolled to justify them, the district said.

It’s in stark contrast to overcrowding in other Southwest Florida districts. The county’s aging population and lack of affordable housing are to blame, according to the district.

“We don’t have a lot of young professional families moving here,” said Mike Riley, the school district’s community liaison.

The job cuts will save almost $2.5 million. The district has plans to put the savings toward raises for the remaining teachers after the cuts are made and “the budget stabilizes,” Riley said.

The raise would be the largest teachers in the district have seen in nearly a decade.

“It’s something that has to be done for us to go on in the future and be competitive as a district,” Riley said, “and be able to bring in good, quality teachers and be able to retain good, quality teachers.”

The district aims to compete with neighboring Sarasota and DeSoto counties for teaching talent.

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