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Gilbert Public Schools laying off some faculty for 2021-22 school year

District officials did not say how many staffers will be laid off.
Gilbert Public Schools Superintendent prepares for her State of the District speech as voters consider raising public tax dollars.

GILBERT, Ariz. — One of the largest school districts in Arizona announced a round of layoffs for the next school year.

Gilbert Public Schools announced the staff reduction Friday afternoon and cited a loss of enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason.

District officials did not say how many staffers will be laid off, only saying that the employees who will not be returning for the 2021-22 school year have already been notified.

GPS encompasses 39 schools that served over 34,000 students in the 2018-19 school year with a faculty of about 2,000.

Arizona has already faced a shortage of teachers even before the pandemic started with many faculty members retiring early at its onset.

RELATED: COVID-19 forcing some Arizona educators to retire early

District officials released a statement that read, in part:

“Decisions like this are not easily made, and as a school district, we greatly value all of our employees and their contributions.

We continue to make every effort to increase enrollment for next year and it is our hope that many students lost during this pandemic will return to our schools over the next year.  As a school district, it is imperative that student needs remain at the center

of our decision making, and that we remain fiscally responsible to ensure the long term success of our students, our employees, our schools and our district as a whole.”

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This year has certainly changed how we approach education during a pandemic. For more ongoing coverage of the Class of 2021 watch our YouTube playlist and subscribe.