Local teachers get advice on how to cope with pink slips

By Emily Luxen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Birmingham area teachers who have just lost their jobs because of state budget cuts and proration are uniting to try and get help.

Leaders of the Birmingham and Jefferson County American Federation of Teachers chapters held a meeting Monday to distribute information about how to deal with layoffs.

Other teachers who still have jobs said this is important information, because they fear more cuts could be on the way, and they could also end up facing some tough times ahead.

President of the Jefferson County American Federation of Teachers, Vi Parramore, said there is no way to know how many more cuts are on the way, but she hopes she was able to pass along some useful information on unemployment benefits, insurance, and how to find a new job.

"They are so down and depressed, this gives them a heads up on where to go," said Parramore, "It gives them some direction. It tells them what government agencies are out there that can help people who are unemployed."

Local leaders said fewer teachers mean larger classes, and they're worried about how the cuts will impact each school district overall.

"It would destroy the academic process we have now as far as AP classes and art, and music," said Richard Franklin, the president of the Birmingham American Federation of Teachers. "It is amazing things that have been proposed, and they aren't thinking about the kids."

The Jefferson County and Birmingham school boards will discuss the possible job cuts at their meetings later this week.

Teachers must be notified of their status by the end of the school year.

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