Source: Sherman Publications

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Board moves forward on 17 pink slips, averts privatizing

by David Fleet

May 23, 2012

Goodrich-On Monday night the school board voted 6-0 to issue pink slips to 17 district teachers.

Linda Jackson, board vice-president, was absent.

"We're actually looking to reduce the staff by 8.5 (teachers)," said John Fazer, district superintendent. "Due to contract requirements and potential bumping options, we have notified more (teachers) than needed to start. The final number of teachers laid off will be based on school enrollment in early August and what Lansing decides this June," he said.

The cuts, which total about $640,000, are necessary to help curb a $1.6 million budget shortfall as the school board works to balance a budget for the 2012-13 school year, said Fazer.

Right now class sizes will be about 30 at the elementary schools, 30-32 at the middle school and average 32 at the high school.

"The budget is very tight," said Fazer. "We'll have to tweak it in June. Every year we have to reduce the budget. At some point you'll just have to stop the deficit."

Also on Monday night the board did not vote on privatizing of school bus drivers and custodial services as anticipated.

The plans were first discussed on May 7 when the school board members and administration gathered for a special meeting to discuss privatizing for the custodial services and the transportation department. The money saving measures are necessary, say school officials, to help reduce the $1.6 million deficit. A balanced budget is needed by July 1.

A protest that was slated for 5 p.m. early that day was cancelled after the announcement was made.

However, details of concessions that may include shorter bus routes and retirements without replacements were not discussed.