Six teachers 'riffed' in Arlington schools

ARLINGTON — Six teachers will not be returning to the classroom next school year.

Those teachers — all middle- and high-school certificated staff members — were handed official reduction in force letters on Friday, May 14, in wake of the school district working to cut at least $1.6 million from the 2010-11 school year budget.

The teachers, whose names were not immediately available, were told by Superintendent Kris McDuffy on May 6 and 7 that their jobs were being eliminated, said Misti Gilman, Arlington School District spokeswoman.

The School Board approved the layoffs during its May 10 meeting.

School districts in Washington are required by law to notify certificated teaching staff by May 15 whether they will have jobs the following year.

Arlington Education Association President Eric Grant said the cuts will have an impact next year.

"These individuals are wonderful human beings, the type of people that I would want my children to have as teachers," said Grant, who teaches at Haller Middle School. "(The cuts) impact everyone. We all will have larger class sizes and it's not just impacting teachers. I'm a father — I want my kids to have as much one-on-one contact with teachers — that's what education is all about."

Grant said that he is hopeful that the teachers will either find another position in a different district or be brought back next school year.

The Arlington School District let go of 24 individuals at the end of last school year. Many of those teachers and classified staff have been brought back in some capacity during the course of this school year.

School district officials said they are trying to send out reduction in force notices to classified staff members by June 14.

The School Board will be holding a public hearing on next school year's budget on July 12, with approval coming shortly after.

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