FAIRBANKS — The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District has sent notifications of possible layoffs to 50 teachers for the coming year.
The “doubtful status” employee notifications are directly tied to the district’s budget position — not knowing how much state funding will increase, if at all.
The notifications are part of a contractual agreement for non-tenured teachers through the Fairbanks Education Association. This doesn’t mean 50 teachers will be laid off, but it does warn of possible layoffs.
Through the contractual agreement, non-tenured staff members have to be notified of their employee status by the end of the school year — May 24 for teachers. The 50 non-tenured teachers have worked for the school district for one year or less.
Layoffs are only one cost-cutting option the district will have to consider if state funding doesn’t come through.
Superintendent Pete Lewis’ optimism was boosted Thursday when he heard that legislators are willing to add more education funding.
“I’m hopeful and optimistic we’re not going to have to go down this road,” he said, adding the district is in a “holding pattern.”
“If it doesn’t come through, we have to have the district positioned” for possible layoffs, he said.
The school board will need a full array of options if it has to deal with making more cuts, Lewis said.
The district is looking at a $2.6 million budget shortfall without increased school aid.
The school district, which also gets a large portion of its funds from borough property taxes, has until June 30 to finalize the budget.
Contact staff writer Reba Lean at 459-7523.