For Philly schools' central office, news on layoffs soon

The Philadelphia School District today sent out an e-mail to central office staff letting them know that in two weeks, officials will begin notifying departments and employees about staffing levels going forward. 

Estelle Matthews, the Chief Talent and Development Officer, wrote that the "Executive Team and Human Resources are working as quickly as we can to give all of you some information regarding your position.  The week of June 6, we will begin to notify departments and employees of their positions."

But don't expect a quick resolution.  "This notification process will continue until the beginning of September for some of you, depending on the need of your services," Matthews wrote.  "We do not take this process lightly and are reviewing positions to ensure we have made the right decision for the district."

To fill a $629 million budget gap, the district will reduce its central office by a full 50 percent.  District-wide, more than 3,000 positions will be lost, about 1,200 of them teachers.  (No word on when teacher/other school staff notifications will go out - this notice just applies to central office staff.)

The district must pass a budget on May 31.  Tomorrow, Tuesday May 24, district officials go before City Council to present the budget.  Public testimony happens on Wednesday.  Check back here for more news.