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200 Alaska teachers facing layoffs amid state funding talks

Posted May 13

— Hundreds of Alaska teachers, including tenured teachers, may soon be laid off because of state funding uncertainties.

The Anchorage School District is looking to terminate 200 non-tenured teachers, Alaska Public Radio Network reported (http://bit.ly/2qgeHlc) Friday. Chief Human Resource Officer Todd Hess expects the laid-off staff will mostly be first-year teachers. Second-year instructors and five tenured teachers will also be considered.

The Anchorage School Board has already cut 90 teaching positions, according to reports.

Alaska lawmakers have discussed cutting the per-student education formula by 5 percent, which would leave school districts with less money. The Anchorage School District typically has its budget finalized before the state comes up with its final school-funding numbers.

"With the uncertainty that the school district is facing with funding, we have to be prepared to meet our financial obligations," Hess said.

Hess predicts the district may also need to cut staff from other departments.

The departing staff will be notified by the end of the school year.

There is a possibility that laid-off staff will be recalled before the school year, Hess said. "We will do what we can to make any layoff status as short as possible and get people back, because of the disruption that it causes in every neighborhood school," he said.

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