May 1, 2014 in Washington Voices

East Valley district layoffs centered at high school

By The Spokesman-Review
 
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Coming up

The East Valley School Board will meet:

• 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday for a work session.

• 6 p.m. May 13.

Both meetings are at the administration building, 12325 E. Grace Ave.

For information, call at (509) 924-1830.

The East Valley School District is sending out layoff notices this week to 66 certificated employees.

Human Resources Director Neale Rasmussen believes many of those individuals will be asked back, but by the beginning of next school year there should be 12 to 15 fewer full-time employees than this school year. Rasmussen and Interim Superintendent Tom Gresch described the process and rationale to the school board Tuesday during a work session.

“We’re talking about individuals,” Gresch said, describing the process of sending out notices as “gut-wrenching.”

Gresch said most of these positions are at the high school level where enrollment is down. In 2014-15, the district is budgeting for 925 full-time equivalent students – 211 fewer than budgeted for this school year.

Rasmussen said the employees who receive the notices will be placed in layoff status. Those employees may be asked to return, based on seniority, to positions that open due to retirements and re-assignments in duties. If there are any positions open that are specialty positions, such as occupational therapists, and there are no qualified candidates in the pool of employees with notices, the administration will look outside the district to fill those positions.

Rasmussen told board members most of the process should be done by the end of the school year.

Board chairman Mike Novakovich asked if the district was helping laid-off employees find jobs outside the district.

Gresch said he has talked with people in other districts about his employees. Rasmussen said one employee at the bottom of the seniority list has already found a job outside East Valley through these contacts.


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