Georgia's unemployed teachers get help - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia's unemployed teachers get help

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Thousands of Georgia teachers and other school system employees have been laid off in the last two months.

Now the state is stepping in to help them transition into new careers, holding job workshops around the state. It won't be easy with more than 500,000 unemployed Georgians looking for work.

Dougherty County Schools chose not to lay off employees instead furloughing them 10 days.  In Baker County teachers weren't as lucky. 13 didn't have their contracts renewed half of the group was in Albany today looking for help.

"It seems like there's not a lot of options out there, I want to make a living for my family, I want to be able to provide," said Angela Warren, Unemployed Teacher.

After 22 years of teaching, five in Baker County, Angela Warren was let go, despite good student test scores. Now the job she took to stay off of state assistance has put her back in the same spot.

"My daughter was on Peachcare and I didn't want her on state health care because they cut things all the time, as we see with education, so I didn't want her on that," said Warren.

It may not be an option. She's planning to look for a job outside of teaching, knowing it's not just a career field that's being cut back in Georgia.

"I just think it's a nationwide problem, a serious problem and I'm waiting for parents to start revolting," said Warren.

Instead of planning a return to the classroom she's headed to see the workforce investment act representative to train for a new career.

"One thing about the teachers is they have, already have classroom time in training and although some of the teachers are being laid off there are high demand areas where we need teachers in Math and Sciences and of course engineers," said Mikell Fryer, Georgia Department of Labor.

Warren and other teachers are trying to stay positive.

"The sky's the limit," said Warren.

She knows finding a new teaching job or another career won't be easy.

Most of the laid off Baker County teachers we spoke with today have filed legal complaints with system concerning the layoff. The complaints will be addressed by the School Board. The workshop continues Saturday from 10:00 until 2:00 at the Hilton Garden Inn.


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