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10 face layoffs in Coupeville schools

Coupeville School District Superintendent Patty Page handed out reduction-in-force notices to 10 full- and part-time staff members last week after the board approved a resolution mandating employee cuts.

“It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” Page said, “just because there were so many. It rocks the worlds of the whole school district.”

Though the amount of funding that the district will receive from state, local and federal funding sources is still uncertain, Page said it’s already clear that it will not be sufficient to maintain the district’s current educational programs and services.

She said right now the district is performing a balancing act trying to figure out how many teachers and other positions they can reduce and still run successful programs.

In addition to the cuts, roughly nine or 10 staff members will be leaving next year through resignations, retirements or due to other personal reasons and the district does not plan to refill their positions.

Page said she’s hopeful that after the Legislature reveals its budget the school board will be able to restore some of the cut positions, but because so many others are leaving, the district will still end up relatively short on staff.

Page said the reduction may affect class sizes next year, but said since the schools lean toward smaller classes already, a slight increase won’t have a great impact on student learning.

“It’s going to still be a good year,” Page said at the May 16 board meeting. “We can’t just hang our heads and be Eeyores. The kids are going to be here and we’re going to do right by them.”

The next community district budget meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, in the Coupeville Elementary School library.

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