State education agency to cut 22 this summer

January 29, 1991|By Peter Jensen | Peter Jensen,Annapolis Bureau of The Sun

ANNAPOLIS -- The state Department of Education has notified 22 workers that their jobs will be terminated this summer, including nine people who produce instructional videos for classroom use.

The terminations, announced to employees Friday, will take effect June 30 and are intended to help reduce costs in the fiscal 1992 budget, Larry N. Chamblin, a Department of Education spokesman, said yesterday.

The 22 positions are in addition to the 78 vacant jobs being eliminated in the 1992 budget proposal, Mr. Chamblin said. He said about half the pink slips will go to professional staff and half to clerical workers.

"It came as a kick in the teeth to us," said television producer Anne Jarrell-France, 42, a 20-year veteran of state employment. "We're proud of what we do and to have that [video] service for teachers obliterated, that's what really gets to you."

Ms. Jarrell-France said her office produces instructional videotapes for use by both students and teachers. For instance, she said, she recently completed a series of videos on writing skills for use in public schools.

Maryland Instructional Technology, the agency that includes the video instruction branch, shares office space with Maryland Public Television in Owings Mills. Productions are partially financed with outside grants from both government and the private sector.

"Their videos were very valuable to us as a school system. They make things more vivid for students," said H. DeWayne Whittington, Somerset County's schools superintendent. "When students can see something, it's more effective than just talking about it or reading about it."

Mr. Chamblin said state Superintendent of Schools Joseph L. Shilling approved the terminations last week. The department employs about 1,400 people.

The state had previously announced termination of nine employees of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services, and 37 meat inspectors from the Department of Agriculture as part of an effort to trim a projected $423 million deficit from the fiscal 1991 budget.

James B. Rowland, a Budget and Fiscal Services spokesman, said other state agencies may be facing more layoffs and terminations to meet next year's budget goals.

He said decisions over layoffs have been left to individual departments and "we don't keep a running count."

Joseph Cook, director of field services for the Maryland Classified Employees Association, said his union has not been notified of the most recent job actions.

"It concerns us," Mr. Cook said. "We haven't seen the agency budgets and we don't know what their projections are for reductions in staff."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.