SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — The Central Valley School District (CVSD) is expected to lay off teachers, staff and administration as COVID-19-era funding expires.
A statement from CVSD superintendent John Parker said the federal funds used to hire more teachers and support staff will expire on July 1. CVSD's new budget for the upcoming school year includes changing the number of staff in schools.
Parker said that many schools' staffing will need to be reduced to eliminate the level of over-staffing, based on enrollment.
"Our goal will be to rehire staff back as our enrollment allows in August," Parker said.
As required by the teacher's union bargaining agreement, the potential layoffs will be finalized by April 1st.
The layoff reductions are not only in CVSD schools but also in the district office. The number of administrators and support staff from the Learning and Teaching Center (LTC) will be reduced as part of district-wide cost savings measures. It will be effective by July 1.
"As a school district, we will continue to do what is necessary to get the district back on a sustainable path, post-ESSER and post-pandemic, so there is less likelihood of facing this challenge again," Parker said.
Here is the full statement sent to CVSD staff, students, parents, guardians, and caretakers by superintendent Parker :
"It has been a very good year so far, especially as we resume a level of post-pandemic ‘normalcy’ related to the education of our children. As ve through the recovery process, we continue to have challenges ahead, and one of the biggest challenges for school districts across the country is that we need to move away from pandemic-level funding and staffing. To achieve this, I wanted to share with each of you our process so you are fully aware of how we are addressing this challenge.
During the pandemic, we put the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) federal funds to immediate and effective use by hiring more teachers, counselors, nurses, and other support staff and providing additional services to address the variety of needs students had during this time. We also understood that these one-time ESSER funds would sunset, and we would need to move back to sustainable pre-pandemic funding and staffing levels. The time for readjusting the budget and staffing levels has come, and we are presently in the process of making these difficult adjustments in our schools. In order to sustain our budget for next year, we will need to ‘right size’ the number of staff in each of our schools.
We considered many things in this process. First, we always anticipate a certain level of attrition among our staff, so we asked our teachers if they had plans to retire by the end of this year. By knowing this information and looking at next year’s student enrollment projections, we are well-informed on how many teachers should be in each school. In essence, the number of students drives the staffing level in each building. In many of our schools, staffing will need to be reduced to eliminate the level of over-staffing based on enrollment. Our goal will be to rehire staff back as our enrollment allows in August. Central Valley School District continues to grow remarkably, and we hope this trend continues next year and beyond. Secondly, the reductions are happening not only in our schools, but also in our district office. We will reduce the number of administrators and support staff from our Learning and Teaching Center (LTC) effective July 1 as part of district-wide cost savings measures.
Certainly, this is a challenging message to deliver. Still, as part of my leadership promise to our school board, staff, students, and each parent and community member, I would rather be candid, transparent, and accountable about our process and share the message directly with you. As a school district, we will continue to do what is necessary to get the district back on a sustainable path, post-ESSER and post-pandemic, so there is less likelihood of facing this challenge again. I am incredibly grateful to the leaders and teachers in our schools during this process, and I have complete confidence that we can get through this challenge together."
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