Few Bainbridge teachers will get layoff notices this month

Layoffs in the Bainbridge Island School District due to a budget gap of $2.6 million to $3.4 million in the coming school year may be lessened dramatically by upcoming staff retirements, resignations and reassignments, district officials said.

Though the school board has authorized cutting teacher staff by 17.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs), only one or two teachers are expected to be notified by the May deadline that they are losing their jobs.

Staff cuts have been anticipated for months.

In March, the Bainbridge Island School Board declared a fiscal emergency and warned that “funds available for the 2019/2020 school year will be insufficient to maintain the same staffing levels, programs and services as provided for the 2018/2019 fiscal year.”

At the time, District Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen said spending cuts would need to be made due to lower enrollment in district schools, diminished state funding for staff salaries, and a reduction in the Educational Programs & Operations levy.

At the school board’s last meeting, the board passed a resolution calling for a “reduction in force” for the 2019-2020 school year because of lower enrollment and increased expenditures in the district.

The board, on a 3-0 vote, adopted a reduced educational program for the coming school year.

That resolution set out 20 teacher positions where hours would be cut or the entire position would be eliminated.

In total, the district reduced its teacher staffing by 17.5 FTEs.

District officials said, however, that only one or two teachers will actually receive a reduction-in-force notice, given the expected amount of teachers leaving the school district through retirement or resignations, or taking a different position within the school district.

State law requires school districts to notify teachers who may be laid off with a reduction-in-force notice by May 15 for the following school year.

More layoffs outside the teacher ranks are expected.

District officials said the number of non-teacher staffing positions that will be cut entirely, or reduced in hours, will be finalized in the coming weeks.

A recommendation on non-teacher, classified staff reductions will be presented to the school board in June.

In its adopted program for staffing cuts for certificated employees, the board cut the teacher ranks by 17.5 FTEs:

• 3.25 FTE elementary teacher;

• .35 FTE secondary teacher;

• .4 FTE art teacher;

• .1 FTE CTE family and consumer sciences teacher;

• .4 FTE elementary music teacher;

• 1.0 FTE language arts/social studies teacher;

• .6 FTE math teacher;

• .4 FTE science teacher;

• .6 FTE secondary music teacher;

• .2 FTE Spanish teacher;

• 1.3 FTE special education teacher;

• .7 FTE athletic director;

• 1.0 FTE behavior health specialist;

• .8 FTE counselor;

• 3.0 FTE differentiation specialist/instructional coach;

• .4 FTE New teacher induction support;

• .2 FTE occupational therapist;

• 1.0 FTE school psychologist;

• 1.0 FTE building administrator; and

• .8 FTE director of student services and assessment.

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