Spokane Public School officials sent out 238 layoff notices to school district employees this week . District officials feel they don’t have enough state funding, despite the fact their budget is higher than it has ever been before, and they are educating 3,000 fewer students than they did just 10 years ago.
Among those who have been told they might be terminated:
- 72 elementary school teachers
- 42 high school and middle school teachers
- 28 special-education teachers
- 55 counselors
- 10 speech language pathologists
- 6 librarians
- 6 psychologists
- 7 occupational therapists and physical therapists
- 5 specialty educators
Union rules require the youngest teachers be laid off first, even if they are the most effective at educating students. In fact, on my Facebook page today, one local friend told me “I have a friend who is a great teacher and just got cut. They are cutting the new teachers rather than the bad teachers. What a shame.”
It is interesting to note that the list of possible layoffs does not include any administrators. WPC's Key Facts about Spokane Public Schools  shows that there are more than 110 employees making more than $100,000 per year- most of them, administrators. Furthermore, only 42% of the employees of Spokane Public Schools are actually classroom teachers, yet 62% of the proposed layoffs come from the teaching ranks.
Just a few weeks ago, Spokane Public Schools assistant superintendent Staci Vesneske told a local TV station that “we’re going to have to look at reductions for administrators.” It appears that is not happening, at least not yet.