Seattle schools cut 90 jobs
Seattle Public Schools gave layoff notices to more than 90 central-office staff members Wednesday.
Seattle Times education reporter
Seattle Public Schools gave layoff notices to more than 90 central-office staff members Wednesday, one step in the district's effort to cut $18 million to $25 million in expenses for the 2010-11 school year.
District staff said about 17 of those laid off are managers or supervisors, 18 are teacher coaches and 13 are administrative assistants. The rest work in nearly every district department.
They include five education directors who oversee school principals, although their jobs will be revamped and re-advertised.
Altogether, the district estimates the layoffs will save about $6 million, roughly 8 percent of the district's central-office budget.
"More people are taking on more work ... because we don't have a choice," said Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson.
She said the cuts will be felt in the schools as well as the central office because the district is a system in which "everything is connected."
The district has been discussing budget cuts for months now.
Seattle School District staff members estimate they'll need to cut expenses by $18 million because of state cuts.
They also intend to cut an additional $6 million in expenses so they can spend that money on new efforts tied to the district's strategic plan and its new student-assignment plan.
Along with central-office layoffs, the district is discussing cuts to school budgets totaling $6 million.
But two school-board members Wednesday asked the staff to continue to look for more savings in the central office.
"I don't think we're at a point where we should take anything off the table," said Sherry Carr, chairwoman of the board's audit and finance committee.
Carr and other board members also said they've been lobbying legislators to pass a budget close to what the House proposed, which would mean fewer reductions in the amount of money Seattle receives than the budgets proposed by the governor or the Senate.
In addition to laying off central-office staff, the district has instituted a hiring and spending freeze and taken a number of other steps to close the budget gap for the upcoming school year.
Linda Shaw: 206-464-2359 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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