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USD 398 Board of Education cuts staff

Staff writer

At a special school board meeting April 24, members deliberated nearly three hours through seven executive sessions to discuss personnel before voting on staff reductions.

Board member Rhonda Loucks was absent.

The reductions come as a result of severe budget cuts brought on by the nationwide economic crisis as well as the state’s shortfall of more than $300 million. The state still has not determined exactly how much state aid each district will receive so districts are struggling to plan for the coming year.

In addition, state law requires that every district let its teachers know by May 1 who will be hired for the 2009-10 school year.

In a catch-22 situation, boards of education are stuck trying to create a budget that includes teachers’ salaries without knowing exactly how much money they will have in the checking account or how many teachers they will have to pay.

Staff cuts made by the Peabody-Burns school board hit hard among the newest teachers in the district.

Resolutions to notify non-tenured teachers of contract non-renewal for the 2009-10 school year were adopted unanimously for Joseph Credit, a math teacher; Beth Piper, a science teacher; Debra Tyson and Danielle Retzlaff, elementary school teachers; and Rita Voth, an elementary school social worker.

The board also adopted a resolution to notify tenured teacher Katy Pankratz of contract non-renewal for the 2009-10 school year for reduction in force due to budgetary constraints and declining enrollment. The motion to adopt the resolution passed 5 to 1 with Duke Eldridge opposed.

The motion to adopt a resolution to notify tenured elementary school physical education teacher Robert Kyle of contract non-renewal for his full-time contract and offering a half-time contract for the 2009-10 school year due to reduction in force for budgetary constraints and declining enrollment failed on a 3-3 vote with Tony Zappone, Julia Ensminger, and Bruce Burke voting against the motion.

Last modified May 7, 2009

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