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Teachers In Seminole County May Hold on to Jobs

In Florida, teachers who were in fear of losing their jobs to budget cuts can breathe easier. So can student who have just spent the last four years earning their teaching degree. Federal Stimulus funding will help the county avoid most of its scheduled teacher layoffs.

Federal stimulus money will allow Seminole County public schools to avoid almost all teacher layoffs and many other cuts that were planned for the coming school year.

Officials said Friday that they will use $22 million in federal dollars that the state has folded into school funding to pay salaries of 401 of the district's estimated 4,600 teachers. That will more than cover the cost of about 150 teaching positions the district had planned to eliminate, as well as free up cash for other items that were on the chopping block, such as school supplies.

Some cuts, including 79 non-instructional jobs, still must be made to balance the district's $680 million spending plan. But Superintendent Bill Vogel said the worst has been avoided.

"We really have gotten hold of the budget," Vogel said.

Like other school districts around the state and nation, Seminole faces a cash shortage because of the poor economy and reduced revenues. Florida relies heavily on sales taxes to fund schools, and receipts are off drastically.

Teachers are such an important part of society, and it is sad that the first people to go in a budget cut are the teachers. This impacts the students and their quality of education as well. So if you are in the middle of earning, or still dream of earning your teaching degree, have faith that the jobs will still be there.

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