Teachers in Edmonds district are preparing to get pink slips

School board to act Tuesday on plan that also axes jobs of assistant principals and paraeducators.

EDMONDS — Leaders of Edmonds public schools will vote Tuesday on a plan to lay off teachers, elementary school assistant principals and paraeducators to help plug a projected $17.7 million hole in next year’s budget.

The Board of Directors will take up the proposal in its regular meeting slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Educational Services Center, 20420 68th Ave. W. in Lynnwood.

There will be periods for public comment near the start and at the close of the meeting.

“I expect a lot of input from the community on the challenges the district is facing,” said school director Carin Chase. “And we welcome them.”

Directors got their first detailed look at the proposal at a special meeting May 8.

Proposed staffing cuts they’ll consider Tuesday are slightly different from what was originally presented to them.

The number of full-time equivalent teaching positions to be eliminated is 43.3, down from 45.7. Two Instructional Technology coaches are now on the list.

The rest of the Reduced Educational Plan is unchanged.

It calls for 8.5 full-time equivalent elementary school assistant principal positions to be eliminated. And it slashes hundreds of hours from paraeducators who are in the classroom every day helping teachers, assisting students with disabilities and staffing day care programs.

Several vacancies — including three custodians, one groundskeeper, a technology support specialist and a special education data processing specialist — would not be filled. And the plan assumes nearly $2.5 million in spending cuts from the district’s materials, supplies and operations account, known as MSOC.

Retirements and resignations may help lessen the number of teachers who lose their jobs, said Diana White, the school board president.

The 43.3 FTEs “is the worst case scenario,” she said. “We’re really hoping that number goes down.”

And, in the next three months, as board members and district staff craft next year’s budget, they will be scrutinizing expenses to see if there are other ways to make ends meet without reducing personnel.

“We owe it to everybody in the district community to take a look at every item in this budget and to look to make decisions that have the least impact on the classroom as possible,” Chase said.

Edmonds is the only school district in Snohomish County planning to lay off teachers due to financial issues. Its challenges are tied to a 2017 overhaul to the state’s financing of public schools precipitated by the Supreme Court in the McCleary school funding lawsuit.

Lawmakers increased the amount of dollars provided to schools through state taxes and earmarked a chunk for teacher pay. Lawmakers also set a cap on local levies which caused Edmonds to lose out on $20 million of voter-approved tax receipts for the current school year.

Although lawmakers acted this year to boost funding for special education and raise the cap on local property tax collections, that won’t produce enough revenue to plug the gap, Edmonds school leaders said. Plus, in the past year, there have been new expenses incurred, including pay hikes for teachers and the district’s share of costs related to a new statewide health insurance program for educators.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Traffic idles while waiting for the lights to change along 33rd Avenue West on Tuesday, April 2, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lynnwood seeks solutions to Costco traffic boondoggle

Let’s take a look at the troublesome intersection of 33rd Avenue W and 30th Place W, as Lynnwood weighs options for better traffic flow.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

Everett Fire Department and Everett Police on scene of a multiple vehicle collision with injuries in the 1400 block of 41st Street. (Photo provided by Everett Fire Department)
1 seriously injured in crash with box truck, semi truck in Everett

Police closed 41st Street between Rucker and Colby avenues on Wednesday afternoon, right before rush hour.

The Arlington Public Schools Administration Building is pictured on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
$2.5M deficit in Arlington schools could mean dozens of cut positions

The state funding model and inflation have led to Arlington’s money problems, school finance director Gina Zeutenhorst said Tuesday.

Lily Gladstone poses at the premiere of the Hulu miniseries "Under the Bridge" at the DGA Theatre, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Mountlake Terrace’s Lily Gladstone plays cop in Hulu’s ‘Under the Bridge’

The true-crime drama started streaming Wednesday. It’s Gladstone’s first part since her star turn in “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Jesse L. Hartman (Photo provided by Everett Police Department)
Everett man who fled to Mexico given 22 years for fatal shooting

Jesse Hartman crashed into Wyatt Powell’s car and shot him to death. He fled but was arrested on the Mexican border.

Snow is visible along the top of Mount Pilchuck from bank of the Snohomish River on Wednesday, May 10, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Washington issues statewide drought declaration, including Snohomish County

Drought is declared when there is less than 75% of normal water supply and “there is the risk of undue hardship.”

Boeing Quality Engineer Sam Salehpour, right, takes his seat before testifying at a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs - Subcommittee on Investigations hearing to examine Boeing's broken safety culture with Ed Pierson, and Joe Jacobsen, right, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
Everett Boeing whistleblower: ‘They are putting out defective airplanes’

Dual Senate hearings Wednesday examined allegations of major safety failures at the aircraft maker.

An Alaska Airline plane lands at Paine Field Saturday on January 23, 2021. (Kevin Clark/The Herald)
Alaska Airlines back in the air after all flights grounded for an hour

Alaska Airlines flights, including those from Paine Field, were grounded Wednesday morning. The FAA lifted the ban around 9 a.m.

A Mukilteo firefighter waves out of a fire truck. (Photo provided by Mukilteo Fire Department)
EMS levy lift would increase tax bill $200 for average Mukilteo house

A measure rejected by voters in 2023 is back. “We’re getting further and further behind as we go through the days,” Fire Chief Glen Albright said.

An emergency overdose kit with naloxone located next to an emergency defibrillator at Mountain View student housing at Everett Community College on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
To combat fentanyl, Snohomish County trickles out cash to recovery groups

The latest dispersal, $77,800 in total, is a wafer-thin slice of the state’s $1.1 billion in opioid lawsuit settlements.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.