Tuesday, July 16, 2024

MLSD lets 55 more staff go

Staff Report | July 10, 2024 1:40 AM

MOSES LAKE — Fifty-five more staff have been laid off from the Moses Lake School District, according to a Tuesday afternoon press release. The move is part of the district’s ongoing efforts to balance the budget after multiple accounting issues were discovered and two maintenance and operations levy failures earlier this year.

“We deeply regret the necessity of these reductions and are fully aware of the hardship they impose on our dedicated staff and their families,” Interim Superintendent Carol Lewis said via the release.

To date, the district has reduced its workforce due to the ongoing budget crisis by nearly 300 full-time equivalent positions, according to the release. That includes 12.5 from the district office, resulting in more than $1.1M in savings with more district office staff expected to leave via normal attrition in the next few months. Another 4.5 eliminated building administrator positions have saved the district about $730,000. 

Initially, 119 positions associated with the Moses Lake Education Association were part of the reduction in force, but 11 non-renewal notices for special education teachers and counselors were rescinded, reducing that number to 108. The resulting savings is a bit more than $10.8 million. 

Additionally, 143 public school employees — nonteachers — were let go, which has saved the district about $7.1 million. 

While the reductions have allowed the district to save significantly, it is still looking to balance the budget with an additional $3.6 million in budget reductions. The school district must balance its budget and have it approved by the Moses Lake School Board in August or it will automatically enter binding conditions with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction which would result in less local control of the district. 

Lewis said letting staff go was not a decision entered into lightly.