The Bad News
Reduction in Force (RIF) notices are expected to go out today systemwide to all teachers and administrators. The School Board is legally required to notify its licensed employees within two weeks of receiving final funding from the Board of Supervisors if they may be planning any RIFs. Since that gives them until April 16, and they are planning to still work out where to make cuts in their proposed budget until April 22, they decided last week to send out this systemwide notification to make sure they meet that legal requirement.
There are many positions that could be reduced due to proposed cuts including middle school deans, family life education specialists, math facilitators, elementary and sixth grade Spanish teachers, adding extra classroom time to high school and middle school department chairs, and more. If any of these were to be adopted in the final budget, they will try to place anyone whose position is reduced in openings they have within LCPS due to growth or attrition. There are many of these positions expected to be needed, so hopefully any reductions will be absorbed and no one will have to leave due to the proposed cuts.
The Good News
Teachers and administrators have come to expect that they will not get their step increase on the salary scale after not receiving it for the past five years. This year, the School Board proposed fixing the salary scale to fix the sag in the mid-career levels and provide that step increase. One of the proposed cuts though was to cap any raises to 5% in the salary scale fix. This would mean the sag would not be fixed this year.
School Board chair Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) proposed an alternative to that cut where the salary scale the School Board adopted in January would still go through as planned, but instead implementation would start October 1, 2014. Normally, new salaries would go in place July 1. This would mean that 12-month employees will receive their current salaries for an extra 3 months and 10-month employees would receive their current salaries for an extra month. It saves more than the previously proposed 5% cap. The School Board voted unanimously to replace the proposed "cap" cut with the proposed "delay" cut. It remains to be seen what is adopted in the final budget.
Remember to sign the SOS Loudoun petition to ask the School Board to keep our priorities in the final budget: