Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tumwater proposes cuts; Olympia to follow

The Tumwater School District could lose as many as twelve teachers in the coming months, The Olympian reports.
Tumwater classrooms might have 3 percent fewer teachers next year as part of the district’s $1.7 million in cuts for 2009-10 to meet a projected budget shortfall.

That would be the equivalent of six full-time certificated staff members at the elementary school level and six at the middle and high school levels. It also would be the first time the district has responded to a budget shortfall with teacher layoffs in recent memory.
The pain is going to spread all over Thurston County. The Olympia School Board recently voted to send RIF notices to roughly 100 teachers by May 15. According to a union rep, in the worst-case scenario, as many as 55 positions might be eliminated.

Fifty-five. No way normal attrition covers that.

I have no idea what to expect for next year. I'm #97 on the RIF list, so even if I keep my job, I may not stay at my present location. No matter where I end up, it'll be a packed house.

Like many coaches, I could see a significant reduction in my supplemental contract, or its outright elimination. How this would affect the future of activities and athletics district-wide is an open question.

Makes this meeting pretty important:
The Olympia School District Board of Directors will hold a public hearing at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 20, 2009, at the Knox Center, 1113 Legion Way SE, Olympia, Washington 98501. The forum is being held to receive input from the community on the use of Initiative 728 funds for the 2009-2010 school year.

A regular meeting of the Olympia School District Board of Directors will follow at 6:30 p.m.
You might want to attend.

1 comment:

ellen Rice said...

There are some total gems on the RIF list (#97!) -- but our district also has some tenured teachers who really should not be in the classroom. There are not many -- but there are a few that garner complaints from students and parents year after year and yet return to the classroom because they are tenured.

All around the country, contracts and patterns of business are being restructured. This should happen for educators too. Now is the time for districts to have the authority to hire THE BEST -- and to no longer have to "pass the lemon", moving substandard educators from building to building because of tenure.

If classes are going to be crowded for the next several years, then we should at least hang on to those talented educators who can have a hope of handling those crowds. Hanging on to tenured but incompetent staff hurts everyone.