Carson City School district: School officials: No teacher layoffs

No teachers in the Carson City School District will be laid off next year as a means to balance the budget, Superintendent Richard Stokes announced during Tuesday's board meeting.

Instead, he said, the district will consider not replacing teachers who retire or leave the district and will use a portion of the ending-fund balance to absorb the proposed $3.5 million in cuts from the Legislature.

"We will be looking at each vacancy and seeing how it impacts us," he said.

Tony Turley, finance director for the school district, said $420,000 will be saved by the teachers currently planning on retiring at the end of the year. An additional $440,000 had been expected to be achieved through a reduction in force.

He said, the latest numbers coming out of the Legislature indicate that some of the effects won't be as severe as anticipated.

Projections are that there will be a reduction in the Distributive School Account by $54 per pupil, adding up to about a $400,000 loss in revenue for the Carson City School District.

However, Turley said, it is likely that class-size reduction funding will increase by $360,000.

"We only have a net impact to the general fund of about $40,000."

To balance the budget, $2.7 million will come from the ending-fund balance, dipping it to about $9.8 million.

Trustee Lynnette Conrad said she was happy to see that teachers would not be laid off, but encouraged district officials to evaluate the positions that were being vacated. She said she wanted class sizes to remain as small as possible, especially in grades kindergarten through third, even if it meant transferring teachers to alternate schools.

"I'm hoping we can look at this as a community and not just school by school," she said.

Trustee Steve Reynolds asked for a list of administrative positions in the district and job duties of each to determine necessity.

Casey Gills, principal at Fremont Elementary School, invited anyone from the community into any of the schools to make that evaluation for themselves.

"Anytime anyone wants to come shadow a principal or vice principal at any one of our schools, we're very happy to have you come visit and stay as long as you want," she said. "We'd be very happy to show you around."

Turley said that although major changes were avoided this year, it can't go on. Despite the $3.5 million in cuts proposed this year, he said, the true loss was closer to $6 million or $7 million because of the $3 million taken last year from the ending-fund balance.

He said the school district cannot continue to operate at a deficit.

"At some point, we've got to close that gap," he said.

He said district officials will be meeting with other stakeholders throughout this year to draft a plan to do that by 2014.


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