May 8, 2011

the RIF hits home

Friday, OSD officials came to Capital High School to personally deliver RIF notices to six teachers, our rookie staff who find themselves in the "lower 48." Having barely scraped through the '04 RIF, I can speak to the fear and uncertainty the process creates. (It got my students fired up, let me tell you.)

Capital's situation is a little more precarious than some, not only because of the political and economic climate, but because of our shifting demographic. With anticipated enrollment declines, we're overstaffed by 3.2 FTEs--and could lose an additional 1.8 positions if the Superintendent's proposed cuts are adopted.

The good news, at least as good as we can get at the moment, is that the 48 RIF notices mean, even in the worst case, a loss of 13 positions beyond the 29 already eliminated. The bad news is that even if a legislative miracle occurs and all the 48 teachers are retained, we're still going to face larger classes and fewer course offerings. Departing or retiring teachers just won't be replaced. But let's close on better news: District and school officials are optimistic that the worst case is unlikely.

Tomorrow's OSD Board Meeting (Knox Building, 6:30 p.m.) is your first chance for public comment on the proposed cuts. Can't make it? There's a survey.

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