School District Could See Layoffs Next Year
The superintendent is hopeful teacher job losses can be avoided
ANCHORAGE - The Anchorage School District said teachers feel demoralized when they don't know if they'll be in the same job next school year, and that's exactly what some Anchorage teachers are facing.
The Anchorage Assembly approved the school budget last month, but Superintendent Carol Comeau said the final decision on funding for all areas of the school district will not be made until the State Legislature deals with SB171, which provides an increase to the Base Student Allocation.
Until then, teachers are worried they’ll lose their jobs.
"We actually for the first time in a long time have the potential for layoffs of teaching positions,” said Jim Lepley, President of the Anchorage Education Association.
The union said this is always an anxious time of the year for teachers as the budget is balanced and funding decisions are made.
Service High School is one school that may see changes.
“I believe the plan is for ten people at Service High School to be displaced, meaning technically that they're not going to lose their job, they are going to lose their position at Service High School and be absorbed somewhere else,” said Lepley.
The superintendent is hopeful teacher job losses can be avoided.
"At this point we don't think we will be issuing actual pink slips to teachers in the district,” said Comeau.
According to Comeau, she's expecting 180 to 200 retirements or resignations that open up positions.
Next week teachers can inform their schools if they wish to voluntary transfer and on Thursday and Friday there will be staffing meetings.
The union said school staff in more specialized areas might to not be able to be absorbed.
"Counselors being one group that I can think of that may have a counseling degree and a counseling license, but they may not have a teaching license,” said Lepley.
The School Board will decide what is restored if the state approves more money, but a priority, along with teacher positions, will be restoring some high school electives which will likely be lost next school year.