More teachers get layoff notices as districts wait on Legislature

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by TRICIA MANNING-SMITH / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 13, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Updated Friday, May 13 at 6:51 PM

DES MOINES, Wash. --  Fifth grade students in Mrs. Przepiora's class are quiet. They're concentrating on fractions in math class at Kent Mountain View Academy.

Students have no idea of the anxiety many of their teachers are struggling with behind the scenes.

Two teachers on this campus received layoff notices this week, including the Special Education teacher and another elementary teacher. These join 57 total teachers and 18 staff members in the Kent School District who received layoff notices.

The Kent School District is one of the largest in the state. It's also among the districts potentially laying off the most teachers this year. For comparison, Olympia reports giving notices to 48 teachers. Seattle gave notices to 30 certified staff who are mostly teachers. Issaquah notified 36 certified staff members, most of them teachers. 

The notices coincide with the Washington Education Association's convention in Tacoma, where the WEA reports more than 1,000 teachers, education support professionals and college faculty are meeting this weekend.  Governor Chris Gregoire is scheduled to speak to conventioneers this afternoon.

Kent sends out their notices based on projected budget cuts, a district spokesman said. The exact dollar figure for the district is unknown, while the state legislature is in special session debating how to cut around $2 billion in K-12 and higher education funding.

Some of Kent's 57 teachers and 18 staff members may be recalled, depending on the Legislature's budgetary decisions.

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