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Flint — The Flint School Board has voted to lay off 31 teachers and five administrative staffers as part of a plan estimated to save $8.1 million.

Two of the district’s employee unions agreed to the layoffs that were approved this week, and also agreed to a seven-year wage freeze. The district faces a nearly $22 million deficit and voted to take an advance on its monthly state aid payment so it could make payroll for January. It would be the third advance the district has received in 10 months if the state grants the request.

Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins says he doesn’t know when the district will hear back from the state. He says the concessions by the unions are very important to the district. He says their collaboration makes him optimistic for the district’s future.

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