Wednesday, April 15, 2015

School District in Iowa Plans to Fire All Employees

School districts in Iowa are required to submit certified budgets today for the coming school year, but the legislature is still fighting over how they will fund the state's public education system. As a result, one Iowa school district has decided to lay off its entire workforce:
Southeast Warren School District is preparing for the worst case scenario by giving all its employees pink slips. “None have received them yet, [but] all of them will,” said Delane Galvin, the district’s superintendent.

Meaning, all 100 staff members in the district will be notified their contracts are not being renewed as part of a worst case scenario budget put together by district leaders, who said the move will give the district flexibility as they wait to hear how much supplemental state aid they'll receive.

By law, certified public employees have to be notified by the end of April if their contract is not going to be renewed. “So if the budget isn't set, we don't know what we can fund and what we can afford for staff. We're notifying everybody and once the budget is set, then we can recall them,” Galvin said.

Teacher Shelley Mitzelfelt says teachers in the district are now left searching online job sites just in case, all because of failures by state legislators. “The tension's pretty thick. People are very concerned,” Mitzelfelt said.
Lawmakers have not yet scheduled the Senate and House conference committee meeting that will allow them to debate this issue. They are arguing over a difference of $50 million in education priorities.

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