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Teachers will be recalled

Wed., June 3, 2009, midnight

Spokane schools to rescind 85 percent of layoffs

Most of the 103 teachers, counselors and librarians who received layoff notices from Spokane Public Schools in May can expect phone calls soon telling them they’re rehired.

About 85 percent will be recalled “most likely by the end of the school year,” Assistant Superintendent Staci Vesneske said Tuesday.

“The remaining 15 (percent) are on hold until we know exactly what will happen with the (federal) stimulus money,” she said.

District officials had to notify enough teachers to allow flexibility for the worst budget possibility. But as the financial picture becomes clearer – and improves – and the school board has made its priorities known, district officials have been able to make better determinations.

“We did get clarity on that we will be able to use some of the federal stimulus money to backfill what we’ve been paying out of our levy for special-education (instructors),” said Mark Anderson, an assistant superintendent.

The district also gave layoff notices to 180 one-year teachers who primarily fill in for teachers on leave.

Most of those positions also will be filled.

Vesneske estimates the district will have 40 to 50 fewer employees next school year than it has this year.

The superintendent will present a preliminary budget to the school board June 24. Some form of that budget will be adopted in August.

The school board’s priorities included keeping class sizes down, expanding the Odyssey program for gifted students, expanding full-day kindergarten and 2010 summer programs at the elementary level.

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