Vancouver Public Schools educators were scheduled to gather for a drive-in rally outside the district’s office this evening during the school board meeting in protest of staff reductions.
The district temporarily laid off 447 employees and reduced hours for another 182. The cuts affect bus drivers, secretaries, clerks, food service workers, paraeducators and district security officers. Those protesting said distance-learning models require more staffing to support students and teachers. They urged the school board to overturn the staffing cuts.
Vancouver Association of Education Support Professionals President Barbara Plymate said the group wanted to encourage the school board to “do the right thing and give us our jobs back.” She said employees whose hours were reduced have not seen a reduced work load.
“We’re here, we’re ready and we’re willing to work,” Plymate said. “We just want to do what’s best for our students.”
Those at the rally said they would remain in their cars for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.