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PORT ORCHARD, Wash. -- The South Kitsap School district sent out 57 notices to teachers about possible layoffs next school year, according to Interim Superintendent Bev Cheney.

This is probably the most difficult thing I have ever had to do and the same for the board, said Cheney before Wednesday night's school board meeting.

Students signed up to speak at the meeting to support their teachers.

I know some of my favorite teachers got the slips, said student Vince Bachteler.

The district said a decline in enrollment and funding is part of the problem. Another issue is the battle over the budget in Olympia. It means school districts do not know how much state support they will receive. Representative Jan Angel called it unacceptable.

The work isn't getting done, education is on the hook, and I personally apologize for the legislature and the mess they have left you in right now, said Angel.

At a time when South Kitsap schools are losing teachers, some students want to know why the new Superintendent will make a base salary of $154,000 when the former superintendent made about $146,000 dollars.

You are paying for that expertise and support that will in the long run support the teachers as they move ahead, said Cheney.

Student Tanya Grant is not satisfied with that answer.

I understand they want to have the best, but we are also getting rid of some of the best teachers, said Grant.

Students are planning a rally and march next week to protest the layoffs.
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