D.167 puts off decision on rehiring laid off staff

2014-05-17T00:00:00Z D.167 puts off decision on rehiring laid off staffDavid P. Funk Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 17, 2014 12:00 am  • 

GLENWOOD | Cuts and adjustments were made to Brookwood School District 167's budget to make room to bring back some of the staff the district reduced in March, but the board tabled the decision at its meeting Monday.

"I just feel compelled to say that, as a board, we haven't had any discussions about the financial plan nor have we had any discussions, as a board, about rehiring," board member Janice Barry said. "I don't think it's going to be a quick decision because we've not started any discussions, yet."

Business Manager Andrew Ziegler laid out an early draft of the budget for the 2014-2015 school year. Adjustments made, including to the leases on the district's printers and allotments for supplies and miscellaneous needs, should allow for the retaining of 12.5 of the 19.5 staff who were reduced in March while running only a $160,000 deficit, Ziegler said.

The vote to do so was put off, however.

"I want to make clear that this is simply discussion," Superintendent Valorie Moore said. "Any time there has been a RIF (reduction in force) in a district, if there is an opportunity to try and bring staff back, there is a process that one must follow."

Moore explained that the plan, if approved by the School Board, is to shift some of the staff around between grades and schools based on need and certification.

She gave an example of a recently dismissed kindergarten teacher who is only certified to teach that grade taking the position of a current kindergarten teacher who is also certified to teach fifth grade. The current teacher would take a new position teaching fifth grade, where the need is greater.

"What this is going to mean, if the board does approve the staffing recall list, it means that there will be several involuntary transfers," Moore said.

Moore said the decisions would be discussed with the teachers union and parents.

Board member Roslon Seals made a plea to the rest of the board to approve the measure before it was tabled.

"I'm hoping that we, the board, vote to bring back as many employees as possible," Seals said. "We have some hard-working, dedicated employees and I would hate to see us lose them and some other district gain them."

A discussion on reinstating fees for registration and summer school enrichment classes was also put off.

The board is expected to have a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday where discussion of the rehiring and transferring staff is on the agenda.

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