Seattle Public Schools announced last week that it needed to lay off more than 150 teachers and staff to help adjust for an estimated $34 million budget shortfall. Blaine principal Heather Swanson sent an announcement to members of the Blaine community with the news that three teachers will be let go as part of district budget cuts.
As I’m sure you are aware Seattle Public Schools have recently announced a Reduction In Force (RIF), or a layoff of classified and certificated employees. Principals were informed that the decision had been made to go ahead with the certificated RIF due to the failure to call the state Legislature back into session. It was the district hope that a special session would lead to a lifting of the levy equalization lid and result in 7 million new dollars for SPS. When that did not happen our district leadership decided that a RIF was the only viable and responsible solution for our budget shortfall. I can’t begin to tell you how sad, frustrated and empty it makes me to share the news that three teachers received RIF notices this week.
The teachers are a middle school social studies teacher, a sixth grade language arts/social studies teacher and a part-time PE teacher. Swanson says that this has caused pain for every staff member at the school She says that she will do everything she can to get all three of the teachers back at Blaine but warns that odds are against that happening.