B.G. district giving nonteachers notice of possible position cuts

Actual reductions may be far less dire

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Acting independent of the two-year state budget plan that was approved in Olympia later in the day, the Battle Ground school board agreed Wednesday to issue notices of a worst-case reduction in force, or RIF, of classified (nonteaching, nonadministrative) employee positions and hours for 2011-12.

By contract with the classified employees union, the district must notify workers by May 31 if they might be affected by a RIF. Because Monday is a holiday, the letters will go out this week.

The vote at Wednesday’s special board meeting was 4-0, with member Ken Root excused. Member John Idsinga made the motion for the 48 RIF notices “with regret,” a district spokesman said.

Actual reduction in worker hours and positions could be far less than what was approved. State budget details and employee retirements, resignations and other changes as yet unknown would influence the outcome.

The plan authorizes elimination of 12 basic education assistants, one campus security employee, 32 paraeducators and four employees at the alternative schools. Paraeducators mainly work with remedial students in reading and math, and are funded primarily by state and federal dollars, both of which are in jeopardy for next year.

Nearly all other classified employees, including secretaries, custodians and maintenance workers, could see reductions of between 15 and 30 minutes of work per day. In addition, five English Language Learners program workers could be cut from six to three hours per day.

Earlier this month, the district issued RIF notices to 35 teachers under a similar worst-case assumption.