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Teachers, staff wait on word from special session

In schools across Alabama, students and teachers are anxiously counting down the days &8212; after today, only three more.

The last day of school will be a welcome relief for students. But many teachers and school support staff will be watching their mail boxes for pink slips.

Under state law, school employees who work under contract must be notified by the end of this school year if their contracts will be cancelled for next year.

Without a commitment from the state, school systems don’t know how much money to count on.

State Superintendent Joe Morton sent out a memo to local superintendents earlier this week that put the situation bluntly: ‘The majority of you simply cannot gamble on extending a contract unless you absolutely have the legislation to fund it.’

The Legislature may be called back into session as soon as Tuesday and may be debating the budget even as our school boards decide how to proceed.

Similar dramas are happening across the state.

Teachers and school staff are caught in the middle, with their futures uncertain.