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School closing leads to 14 layoffs
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SOUTH WAYNE—Fourteen Black Hawk School District staff were affected by budget reductions anticipated for the 2012-13 school year.
Following a Feb. 13 regular school board meeting, superintendent Willy Chambers said layoff notices were given to 14 staff.
In October 2011 the school board voted to close the school in Gratiot and conduct classes for grades 4K-12 from the facility in South Wayne instead of dividing the students between the middle school in Gratiot and elementary and high schools in South Wayne. The closing of the school is anticipated to save $300,000 each year. Although some of the staff from the Gratiot school building were affected by the layoffs, Chambers said the decision was based on longevity of employment.
“People will be shifted to new positions,” Chambers said. “There is a chance that a few may be brought back on depending on the enrollment.”
Chambers said declining enrollment has been a key factor in determining the budget cuts.
“If there’s a huge influx of open enrollment, things could be different, but if I’m being honest I really don’t see that happening,” Chambers said.
He said the enrollment of 4K and early childhood students is uncertain at the moment. That would be the area where staff could potentially be added.
Chambers said the board took action on the following layoffs:
• Four bus drivers (for shuttle routes only)
• Two custodians
• Two cooks (one reduced by 7.7 percent)
• Six teachers: 4K, second grade, high school social studies (reduced by 25 percent), high school math (reduced by 25 percent) and high school chemistry/physics (reduced by 25 percent), middle school language arts (non-renewal).