Spokane schools blames McCleary laws for deficit, layoffs
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Spokane Public Schools plans to lay off more than 300 employees, blaming a $31 million budget deficit next school year on Washington state’s legislative fixes to the long-running McCleary court case on adequate education funding.
KREM-TV reports 182 of the 325 layoff notices went to teaching-level staff on Thursday based on seniority and it amounts to an 8% reduction in overall staff.
The school system said the McCleary legislation boosted statewide funding but limited money districts could raise through local levies, creating the shortfall.
Lawmakers in Olympia who are now seeing how school districts rely on them are currently considering a proposal to lift the cap on levies.
Critics say the local tax system is meant for extra services and programs and should not be used to boost teacher salaries.
Information from: KREM-TV, http://www.krem.com/