Hundreds of Imagine Charter School teachers face unemployment

9:41 PM, Apr 18, 2012   |    comments
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By Grant Bissell

St. Louis (KSDK) - Hundreds of local teachers, faculty and staff are facing the possibility of unemployment.

Tuesday's decision by Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to close all six Imagine Charter Schools in St. Louis has employees there fearing their future.

On Wednesday night employees met with the school's board of directors to try to get answers to questions ranging from pay, to how they'll find a new job in today's tough economy.

And so far there doesn't seem to be a solid plan in place to help.

NewsChannel 5 spoke with nearly a dozen teachers at the board meeting. The message from all of them was clear. Nobody's really sure what's going to happen next.

Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has created a transition office and will host a pair of job fairs in May, but right now that's as far as the plan goes.

Teachers say the job fairs aren't enough. They're worried that only a few schools are hiring right now and those that are will likely look past a resume that includes work at a failed school.

A St. Louis Public Schools spokesperson tells NewsChannel 5 the district is prepared to hire some of the Imagine employees, but they don't know how many.

That could leave hundreds of workers in financial limbo.

A spokesperson from Imagine Schools Incorporated says the company is still in shock over the closure decision and hasn't had time to come up with a plan for employees.

But Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, President of Imagine's Board of Directors, is optimistic all the employees will find work for next school year.

Dr. Anderson says the board will meet for the first time with the state's transition office on Thursday.


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