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News / Clark County News

Evergreen Public Schools final plan for cuts includes 22 elementary teacher librarians

Superintendent to see salary cut, district to retain security staff; total of 124 positions and $18.7 million to be cut

By Griffin Reilly, Columbian staff writer
Published: March 22, 2024, 3:19pm

Evergreen Public Schools’ final recommended budget reduction plan cuts $18.7 million for the 2024-2025 school year with 124 positions lost across the district.

The final proposal retains several positions and programs that were proposed in cuts announced last month, including 10 security staff members at the district’s middle and high schools, part-time fifth-grade band and orchestra directors, and a handful of academic interventionist and instructional coach positions.

Superintendent John Boyd will take a $25,000 salary reduction.

The final reductions, if approved at Tuesday’s board of directors meeting, would be $859,000 less than February’s initial proposal.

A district spokesman said Friday that Evergreen got additional money from the Legislature.

Evergreen will also save an additional $410,000 by canceling several software licenses, according to the document released by the district.

A letter from the district shared Friday said the changes to proposed cuts were made using input from community members over the last month.

“After we presented the initial recommendations, we received additional state and grant funding and performed a comprehensive review of our expenditures,” Boyd wrote in the letter. “These funds helped us make the revisions.”

However, the district is still proposing to cut 22 elementary teacher librarians, despite vocal support for the positions in recent weeks at board meetings and on social media.

Maddie Geer, a fifth-grader in the district, spoke in favor of retaining teacher librarians at the March 12 board meeting. Her mother, Mandi Geer, said several of her daughter’s classmates had also shared concerns about the cuts with their teachers.

“If you were to walk into any random class at any elementary school and explain that teacher librarians were not important and were being cut next year, you would have an outraged class,” Mandi Geer wrote in a letter to district leadership Friday.

“Maddie did not find a single student that could fully comprehend the decision or agree with it. Budget cuts should come from places that do not negatively impact students. Cutting teacher librarians has a direct negative impact on every single elementary school student.”

Public meeting

What:Evergreen Public Schools board of directors will vote on the final recommended budget plan

When: 5:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Evergreen Public Schools headquarters, 13413 N.E. LeRoy Haagen Memorial Drive in Vancouver.

Online: The meeting can also be attended virtually via Zoom at https://evergreenps.zoom.us/j/89084537728.

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