May 10, 2011

The Olympian hears about Olympia's RIF

They're a little late to the party, but at least they have the story now.
The Olympia School District is notifying 48 teachers this week that they might not have jobs in the fall, as it works to close a $2.3 million deficit.

Of course, the real number of teachers who could lose their jobs – and the actual amount of the deficit – depends largely on how things play out in the state Legislature’s special session, and how many teachers decide to retire, resign or take a leave of absence during next school year. “The majority of those folks will be offered their jobs back,” said district spokesman Peter Rex.

So far, 27 teachers have indicated they don’t plan to work next year. The district plans to basically leave 40 positions vacant to balance its budget. Unless there’s more attrition, about 13 teachers will lose their positions, Rex said.
More accurately, the 40 positions vacated may help balance the budget. There are other cuts planned; you can read all about the details here. If teaching positions are salvaged in the best-case scenario, many of the other cuts will still be necessary.

Chapter One of the worst case scenario has already been written, I should point out. As expected, the House has voted to suspend I-728 and I-732. Again.
The votes were lopsided but not unanimous to suspend initiatives 728 and 732 in the state House of Representatives Monday. The two iconic education-funding measures were first approved by voters in 2000 to provide class-size reduction funds and also to provide K-12 public school employees with annual cost-of-living raises.

The vote was to temporarily suspend the voters’ will on both measures, saving more than $1 billion in general fund outlays over the next two years.
We'll know in the next 15 days or so how the next chapter plays out.

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