As part of the planning process for the 2012-13 budget, the Menomonee Falls School Board on Monday approved the issuance of 52 preliminary layoff notices for teaching staff.
School Board Member Gina Palazzari said the total number of layoff notices was reduced from the 60 to 70 previously expected by the Personnel Committee. The total fell as the committee moved forward with staff scheduling plans. Palazzari said the board anticipates that less than eight full-time staff positions will ultimately be eliminated.
At the last School Board meeting, the board members originally estimated that seven to 12 full-time positions would be eliminated.
Layoff notices will be sent to teachers primarily at North Middle School and Menomonee Falls High School. The staff reductions are directly correlated to declining enrollments at both schools and the reduction of revenue that results.
“I just want people to know that our enrollment is declining and that is driving teacher layoffs,” said Superintendent Patricia Greco.
Preliminary layoff notices do not mean a teacher is getting laid off. However, teaching staff reorganization is still predicated by seniority and certification. Therefore, teachers with seniority whose position is being eliminated can bump teachers below them out of their position. Preliminary layoff notices are issued to teachers that could be affected.
Layoff notices will be sent out in June.
Next year is the final year in which seniority and certification will drive staff reorganization. The district is moving toward a merit-based employment system, which will be incorporated into the new employee handbook.
Palazzari said the Personnel Committee is currently in the information gathering process for the handbook, and public meetings on the handbook will be scheduled.
The last time the district updated a majority of its network the current MFHS seniors were just entering kindergarten. However, by June, the district’s technology infrastructure will be brought up to date.
The School Board on Monday also approved up to $800,000 for the technology overhaul throughout all the schools in the district. Director of Technology Jeff Nennig said the project includes adding secure wireless at every school, equipment upgrades, and software updates.
The project will increase network speed, reliability, and accessibility for students and staff. At a prior meeting, Nennig said it can take nearly 20 minutes at times for teachers to log fully into the system for in-class presentations.
The funding for the project comes directly from the district’s fund balance, which is essentially the district’s savings. The project’s cost will not affect state aid to the district. The fund balance will remain well above 12 percent, which is a level mandated by the board.