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Board Authorizes Reduced Educational Program in 2020-21

Centralia School District’s board of directors has authorized a Reduced Educational Program for the 2020-21 school year. The unanimous decision was made during a special board meeting on Tuesday, May 5th, which was live streamed online.

The resolution calls for a reduction in staffing of slightly more than 70 full-time equivalent employees (FTE). “One FTE does not necessarily equal one person,” said Interim Superintendent Kristy Vetter. “In transportation, for example, our reduction resolution calls for a reduction of 3.27 FTE, but that might equal as many as 10 employees because they are not all full-time.”

Centralia plans to reduce staffing by about 90 employees through reductions related to the reduced educational program resolution. Additional staffing reductions will come from voluntary resignations and retirements, leaving positions open which may not be filled, or which can be filled by displaced employees. “All together, we think we will have about 120 fewer employees in 2020-21” said Vetter.

Resolution 2020-10 cites multiple economic factors that contribute to a projected $11.9 million deficit for the 2020-21 school year. Those factors include the potential complete loss of Educational Programs and Operations (EP&O) levy funding as well as Local Effort Assistance, often referred to as levy equalization, from the state. Additional budgetary pressure comes from statewide decreased enrollment projections for the new year, and uncertainty around state and federal funding in light of the economic downturn resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“These number represent real people who have contributed to our students and community in great ways,” said Vetter. “This news is difficult to deliver and these actions will have a profound impact on all of our students and programs next year. There is no good way to deliver this kind of news.”

Affected employees will be notified by May 15th and will continue to work through the end of their current employment agreement. “For some that means through the end of August, for others it could mean their employment ends at the end of July”

Vetter said the reductions could be curtailed somewhat with the passage of the district’s levy renewal in August. “We do have a $5.3 million renewal of our expiring EP&O levy on the ballot for August 4th,” she said. “That funding would help significantly reduce the fiscal impact to programs and staffing; however we would still have substantial deficit for 2020-21 due to other factors such as enrollment projection and state and federal funding matters that are not yet resolved.”

Total FTE reductions, which represents 90 people, under the resolution are:

  • Administrator (Executive Directors, Principals, Assistant Principals, Directors) - 3.0 FTE
  • Centralia Education Association (Teachers and other Certificated non-administrative staff) – 13.7 FTE
  • Non-Represented (District Office Support Staff, Nurses, Elementary Secretaries, and Transportation Shop Supervisor) – 3.27 FTE
  • Part-Time Teamsters (Paraeducators) – 34.91 FTE
  • Public School Employees (Bus Drivers, Food Service Staff, Mechanic, Bus Monitors, Dispatchers, Utility Person, Parts Serviceperson) – 3.585 FTE
  • Full-Time Teamsters (Secondary Secretaries, Maintenance, Computer Technicians, and Custodians) – 11.599 FTE

 Watch the May 5th special board meeting