D.C. school officials say about 660 teachers and other school employees have been told that their jobs will be eliminated next month because of budget concerns and shifting enrollment within the school system.

The process known as “excessing” allows for a redistribution of jobs. Schools with budget or other changes often lose jobs, which then go to other schools. But those teachers and staff will still have the opportunity to seek other jobs in the system, according to the DCPS website.

This year, 745 (384 Washington Teachers Union members) were “excessed” and that number will likely increase in the coming weeks. But, the department said, these numbers are comparable to previous years. In 2010, 672 (373 WTU members) employees were excessed and in 2009, 848 (427 WTU members) were excessed.

Nathan Saunders, the president of the Washington Teachers’ Union, said that excessing may be a way to remove older teachers or to target certain individuals, such as “teachers who are nontraditional…or who speak out on issues…who are not in agreement with the style of reform here in D.C…. who are union activists.” If that is the case, he told the AFRO, the WTU will take action.

“To the extent that retaliatory or punitive actions are taken against our members are not educationally sound, we’re going to be their worst enemy,” Saunders said.

DCPS officials said a series of transfer fairs will be held by the District to help teachers find new spots, beginning May 11.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.