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Edmonds school board considers dozens of teacher layoffs

(KIRO 7)

The Edmonds School Board will have its first reading of a plan that includes potential layoffs Wednesday.

Despite new funding help from lawmakers, the board says it may need to cut up to 45 classroom instructors because of a budget shortfall.

State lawmakers recently lifted the levy lid, which capped how much school districts could collect in voter approved levies, but the district says it’s still facing a $17.7 million budget deficit for the 2019-20 school year.

In addition, the district is making plans to lay off at least eight assistant principals and cut hundreds of hours from paraeducators, according to the Herald.

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The Reduced Educational Plan would also leave several positions, including custodian and groundskeeper jobs, vacant.  An estimated $2.5 million for materials, supplies and operations would also be eliminated.

About 30 of the potential layoffs are for staff in their first three years with the district and 15 are on continuing contracts, according to the Herald.

The district cites salary increases, a reduction in K-3 funding unless class sizes are reduced, less money to spend on programs and staff not considered to be for basic education, and a flawed salary allocation model as among the reasons for the budget shortfall.

Final decisions on the cost-cutting plan will be made at the school board meeting on May 14.

If the layoffs are approved, staff would lose their jobs at the end of this school year.

“We recognize that processing reductions of this magnitude are a challenging process. We work in a profession that values relationships with one another and this makes the decisions that are ahead all the more difficult. We value everyone in our district. We also anticipate that there will be more retirements and resignations that will come in weeks ahead, so the number of staff who will ultimately be impacted by these reductions are not known,” a post on the Edmonds School District website said.

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