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Tacoma Public Schools proposes to cut 156 positions next year

Over 100 Tacoma Public Schools positions could be eliminated next year if the Board of Directors adopts the district’s proposed budget next week.

Editor's note: The video above originally aired in April 2019.

Tacoma Public Schools is expected to have 156 fewer staff positions next year as part of millions in budget cuts.

The district already eliminated 43 administration and central support positions mid-year, and 31 employees received layoff notices in May or June. Tacoma Public Schools announced Monday other staff cuts would come through eliminating vacant positions or not filling positions from retirements and resignations.

Overall the district would lose nearly 64 full-time equivalent certified school-based staff, including teachers, librarians, counselors, and nurses. Nearly 53 full-time equivalent non-certified school-based staff positions would be cut, and nearly 40 full-time equivalent administration and central support staff jobs would be gone.

The district also plans to bundle some hourly positions, like crossing guards and noon supervisors, and paraeducator jobs to save on benefit costs.

RELATED: Washington school districts preparing for layoffs, higher class sizes

The cuts are part of the district’s proposed budget, which the Tacoma Public Schools Board of Directors is expected to adopt next Thursday.

Revenue is up $5.8 million from last school year, but the district says costs are also up $43.6 million due to salary and healthcare increases, inflation, and additional Kindergarten through third-grade teachers to meet state class size requirements.

To balance the budget, the district will save $17.1 million from “traditional budgeting,” including staffing cuts, and another $18.1 million from reducing discretionary spending and exempt compensation and bundling hourly and paraeducator positions. The district also plans to dip into reserves to offset some of the shortfall.

RELATED: Tacoma kindergarten teacher Lin Riggio retires after 48 years