PATERSON, NJ - More than 200 teaching staff in Paterson’s public schools are off the chopping block, according to Superintendent Eileen Shafer, after an influx of $12.1 million in COVID-19 funding inserted into the 2021-2022 academic year budget appears to have saved their positions.

The announcement came during Monday’s Paterson Board of Education hearing on the District’s $548 million spending plan. Last week officials announced that after starting the annual budget process with a $63 million deficit, cutting non-salary costs by $21.9 million, years of chronic underfunding, and continuing increases to cost drivers, 260 jobs were at stake.

The additional funding, Shafer explained, allowed district officials to reconfigure other line items, including for special education, technology, and instruction, as well as put forward a plan to provide devices to every Paterson Public Schools student, while reducing the number of potential layoffs to approximately 40.

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Shafer would add that she expects those 40 jobs to be saved through retirements.

Board members are expected to vote on the final budget at a Special Meeting on Thursday.

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