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Additional school employees get layoff notices

Seven South Whidbey School District classified employees were given layoff notices on Friday.

Though their names were not released until after the Record’s deadline, district business manager Dan Poolman said the cuts affected food service, custodial, district service center and student support personnel.

Employees throughout the district had been anxiously awaiting the news based on the district’s continuing attempts to deal with a $1.85 million budget deficit.

In April, 37 reduction-in-force notices were given to certified personnel, including teachers, librarians and counselors. That number has since been pared down to 18 employees.

Enrollment and the economy are driving the personnel cutbacks. School officials are forecasting a reduction of 139 students for the school year that begins in September, resulting in an overall 11 percent loss of revenue.

After cuts in programs and belt-tightening in other areas, the roughly $1.2 million shortfall must be resolved from employee layoffs, since they represent 83 percent of the district’s annual budget.

The South Whidbey School District will continue its public discussions about the district’s plans to restructure next week. The school board will hold a workshop at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 3 in the elementary school community room. The agenda will cover school consolidation and transportation concerns.

On June 10, the board will deal with classified staffing and parent surveys. On June 17, the board will address school start times, food service outsourcing and changes to maintenance.

The final school board decision on the restructuring plan will be at its regular meeting on July 22.

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