Twenty-eight Seattle public school teachers and 17 other school district employees received layoff notifications last week as part of an attempt to cut $20 million out of next school year’s budget.
The notices mean the employees may lose their job next school year, but they could also be rehired. State law requires school districts to tell employees of layoffs by May 15.
The combined number, 45, is slightly smaller than the past couple years and much smaller than in 2009, when more than 200 employees were laid off.
The areas hit hardest were counselors, physical education teachers, music instructors and family support workers. In addition, the district announced it has eliminated 11 positions in its central office this year.
“Although this is a limited Reduction in Force compared to previous years, it is not easy and has a tremendous impact on those employees who will lose their position,” Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield wrote in an email to staff today. “I want to thank those staff members for their service to Seattle Public Schools and our students.”
The Seattle School Board approved the cuts at a meeting earlier this year.
“I feel bad that we have to lay off anyone,” School Board President Michael DeBell said. “If our budget wasn’t so tight, we would certainly want to hold onto all of our teachers and our classified teachers. But we were left with very little choice.”