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ImageNow that the Lansing 2010-2011 budget has been passed by the voters, it is up to the district administration to make the adjustments necessary to stay within that budget.  Last week Superintendent Stephen Grimm presented the first of two resolutions to the Board Of Education that will cost the district the equivalent of 15 jobs.  Grimm explained that the individuals slated for layoffs must be chosen strictly on the basis of seniority, and do not have to do with merit.

"It has nothing to do with their effectiveness," Grimm said.  "It has to do with how long these people have taught here in that area.  However I would state that all these people are fabulous."

Grimm said he consulted with Labor Relations officials and attorneys on the best way to effect reductions.  The resolution was complicated by the fact that three part-time positions are being created to replace full time ones, and being filled by three teachers who are being laid off from the full-time positions.

Board member Michael Cheatham asked that foreign language teacher reductions be put on hold until the next board meeting while issues surrounding how seniority is determined are resolved.  That becomes complicated because foreign language teachers are certified in a specific language, not a general 'foreign language' category.

To best accomplish that the resolution was constructed in five steps to accommodate some teachers whose full-time positions are being converted to part-time.  The first step eliminates the existing full time positions, which included five tenure-area teaching positions, one tenure-area administrative positions, and nine support staff jobs.  The next step identifies individuals with the least seniority for each area where a job is being eliminated.  Step three terminates specific individuals.

Three part time teaching positions were created in step four.  They included a 0.4 FTE (Full Time Equivalent) part-time business teacher, a 0.4 FTE English teacher, and a 0.75 FTE Family and Consumer Sciences teacher.  Three of the individuals whose full time positions were eliminated were appointed to the new part-time positions in step five.

People being laid off are being placed on a 'preferred eligibility list.'  That means that because they are being laid off because their job titles are being abolished, that they will be first in line for hiring if new jobs become available that they are qualified to fill.

"If we ever create another position in that area they have preferential treatment in the hiring of that position," Grimm explained.

The eliminated positions include Athletic Director/Assistant High School Principal, and five teaching positions in the areas of business, English, social studies, home economics, and physical education.  Support staff positions that are being cut include a clerk, four teacher aids, a custodian, a receptionist, a network specialist, and a microcomputer specialist.  Some of the support positions will be filled by BOCES employees because those jobs are eligible for more state aid.

The next round of layoffs, including two foreign language teaching positions, are scheduled to be  voted on by the board in their next meeting on June 14th.


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