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Taxpayers to foot bill for firing teachers

March 1, 2012 at 12:34 PM

ATLANTA, March 1 (UPI) -- Atlanta taxpayers will be footing the bill for the lengthy firing process of some 120 educators accused of helping students cheat on tests, lawyers say.

Atlanta Public Schools met with about 60 accused teachers last week and offered them a deal: Quit now and avoid initiating the firing process.

For teachers, the lengthy firing process begins with a "charge letter" which effectively stains an educator's career, requiring them to report it to future employers.

Only five have accepted the deal, meaning the others remain on payroll under suspension until they are officially fired, which can take a long period of time, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. It is unclear why so few decided to accept the offer.

So far, the district has spent $6.2 million on the salaries of suspended educators, about $600,000 a month. Legal fees, which are also paid by the district, have climbed to $700,000.

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