Aberdeen School Board approves reductions in staff

There was a full house at last nights Aberdeen School Board meeting as parents and staff members of the Aberdeen School District came to voice their opinions on the Reduce Educational Program Resolution.

The Reduced Education Program Resolution that includes a $700,000 savings in reduced expenditure for materials, supplies, and operating costs, and also saves $2.8 million that is needed for next year from employment and benefit costs, was passed unanimously.

The reductions include 46 staff members district wide, 25 by attrition and 21 via layoffs.

School board member Sandra Bielski spoke on the resolution before the vote.

Staff members of the Aberdeen School District spoke against the resolution.

Sandra Bielski after the vote, said that the resolution was carried regretfully.

Comments from board members at the meeting indicated that the issues arose following reallocation of funding throughout the state due to the McCleary Decision.

At the start of the school year,  Dr. Henderson said that despite the legislatures actions to increase funding, it is not cut-and-dry,

“The Legislature’s McCleary Solution does not fully fund education as promised.”

She said that instead, the Legislature created inequities across the state.

“Aberdeen is among the districts that is not adequately funded by the state,” the superintendent added. “As a result, we are reviewing all of our expenditures to identify where we can achieve increased efficiencies and potential reorganizations.

When the collective bargaining agreement for Aberdeen teachers was confirmed Dr. Henderson said “This is a stretch contract for us, but we’re happy to have an agreement with our teachers that achieves our shared goal of establishing a competitive salary schedule.”

In a memo from Superintendent Dr. Alicia Henderson it states “there is a need to reduce expenses by 9 percent ($4.5 million) over two years in order to balance the budget, maintain an adequate reserve, and live within our means. We are on track to achieve our goal of a 2 percent ($1 million) cost savings this year. Next year, an additional 7 percent ($3.5 million) in reduced expenses is needed.”

“The reduced education program is proposed with a heavy heart and my hope is that every impacted staff member knows how incredibly difficult it was to make these decisions.”

Classified staff will lose 12 positions by attrition and 14 by layoffs.

Certificated staff will lose 12 positions by attrition and 5 by layoffs.

Administrative staff will lose 1 position by attrition and 2 by layoffs.

The entire memo and resolution can be found in the link below.