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Hurricane Michael has been followed by a series of stressors for educators. In an effort to relieve some of that stress, Bill Husfelt, Superintendent of Bay District Schools, issued the following statement earlier this month: “I have been keenly aware of the added stress that teachers are experiencing since the storm. Worrying about whether or not you have a job next year only worsens that stress. I wish there was something I could do to take away all of the worries in your lives. “To that end, pending School Board approval and Union ratification, I have given principals permission to issue early renewal letters to 80 percent of the annual contract teachers on their staff. While I firmly believe that the legislators will fully fund us for next year, it has not happened yet. If you do not receive a letter, this does not mean that you are non-renewed at this time. After we know officially what relief the legislators will provide, principals will receive their projected 2019-2020 unit allocations. They will then be able to award additional renewal letters on April 26, 2019. “I know this is not a perfect solution. It is my hope that it is a step in the right direction.” Cindy Fowler, Chief Spokesperson for the Association of Bay County Educators, said, “We wanted to be able to at least give some peace of mind to some of our staff so that some of are some people don’t go out of town to find another job. I mean, we need good teachers to stay here in Bay County.” After his letter was sent out, Bay District Schools released the following statement: “The Superintendent has been keenly aware of the stress that our teachers are feeling after Hurricane Michael. To add to this, our annual contract teachers are worried about whether or not they will have a job next year. “In order to alleviate this one stress now, the Superintendent is allowing principals to award early renewal letters up to 80 percent of their annual contract teachers. If a teacher does not receive a letter now, it does not mean that they will not be renewed. He firmly believes that the legislators will fully fund our District for next year, but it has not happened yet. Principals will be able to award additional renewal letters after projected unit allocations are released.”

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