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Yelm Schools District cuts hundreds of staff after levy failure: NVN!

Yelm Community Schools Superintendent Chris Woods put his head into his hands after the school board unanimously approves a reduced eduction plan on May 9. Credit: Dylan Reubenking, NVN.
  • YCS will host a community forum at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 16, at Yelm Middle School to provide feedback from its reduced education plan priorities survey.
  • Editor’s note: The community needs to examine the ramifications about being out of touch in their support of schools.
  • How is this town going to attract new businesses and residents if our schools go into decline?

Yelm district makes hundreds of cuts after board approves reduction plan

Community calls for classroom protection amid levy failure

Excerpt from the NVN:

At least 200 positions at Yelm Community Schools will be cut, and more reductions in force are set to come next week as the school board unanimously approved its reduced education plan on Thursday, May 9.

Superintendent Chris Woods described the new period as the toughest thing the district would ever have to endure. This began with an RIF of classified staff and teachers. The reductions were a result of the district’s attempts to cut $15 million in order to balance its budget for the 2024-25 school year after its educational programs and operations (EP&O) levy failed on both attempts.

“There’s no way we can get to $15 million without reducing positions in our district,” Woods said during the meeting. “When 85% of our budget is people, there’s no way we can get to $15 million with 15% of our budget.”

Notices were sent to both classified staff and teachers to inform them of their change in employment last week. While not every position can be replaced immediately, Woods said the district’s goal is to bring back as many employees as possible, perhaps in a different role where their qualifications fit.

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According to Citizens for Support of Yelm Schools, the reductions have impacted art, music, technology, library services, band and numerous electives, as well as English, science and math teachers. Staff who had served YCS for over a decade also received notices last week, which was Teacher Appreciation Week in the United States.

The list of affected positions was not made public by the district, nor were future reductions potentially impacting administrators, coaches or extracurricular programs. Woods said the decision to somehow choose what is least important is necessary and that he hopes community members “stop tearing others down on social media so we can figure this out.”

The Prairie Elementary Parent Teacher Organization’s Facebook page posted on Friday, May 10, that 14 of its teachers and paraprofessionals were given their notice that “they would no longer have a job in our district next year.” Shortly after receiving their notices, Prairie staff put on an assembly for its students “while tears were still in their eyes,” the post said.

YCS will host a community forum at 6 p.m., Thursday, May 16, at Yelm Middle School to provide feedback from its reduced education plan priorities survey, which had gathered about 1,200 responses as of Thursday, May 9.

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Posted by Steve on May 15, 2024 at 12:01 am | Permalink

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