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Staff layoffs, SOC on school board agenda



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April 20, 2011 - The Goodrich School Board is expected to formalize about 20 layoff notices to school employees, including a significant number of teachers, at the school board meeting at 6 p.m., April 25. The cuts are necessary to rectify a $2.2 million budget shortfall.

"Class sizes will be larger and will vary from 29 to 32 students per classroom," said Michael Tripp, school board president. "The cuts will be contingent on several factors including the amount of funding received from Lansing, which is still uncertain. What is certain is the district will need to trim the budget which is due on July 1. Not all layoffs will be teachers, but they will comprise the majority."

The layoff notices are based on seniority and which teacher is qualified to teach a specific subject. The employees, along with the Goodrich Education Association, were notified prior to the May 1 contract deadline.

Tripp added that each school program will be evaluated and cuts may also be possible.

Also on the agenda for Monday night will be a discussion of schools of choice in the district.

In December, the district halted schools of choice for the second semester of the 2010-11 school year due to increased class size. At the time, 2,138 students were enrolled in the district with 220, or about 10 percent, schools of choice students. District employees with students in the district account for an additional 36 enrolled, 1.7 percent. Since the enrollment was opened up last summer, 80 new schools of choice students have come to the district.

In April 2010, Goodrich opted into the state's school of choice program, joining the Fenton School District in opening up enrollment to students from other districts, which allowed an unlimited influx of students from outside the district.

The decision kept the window for enrollment open until the end of the first week of September, and allowed enrollment during the second semester of the school year. The state schools of choice program will not require a release from school administration if the student opts to come to Goodrich.

"Each year the board takes a look at the schools of choice program and opens the issue up for discussion," Tripp said.

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