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Published: Tuesday, 4/14/2009

Oregon school district plans layoffs

BLADE STAFF

Oregon City Schools board members Tuesday night approved a plan calling for laying off 31 teachers, two administrators, and up to 30 other staff members next school year in an effort to save almost $3.2 million a year.

If that is not enough, then another 13 teaching, administrative, and staff positions will need to be eliminated, bringing the total cost savings to almost $3.8 million, Oregon City Schools Superintendent Mike Zalar said.

The plan recommended by Mr. Zalar also calls for union employees to forgo a raise next year as they have in the past, have no increase in health-care premiums, and agree to other changes. Eliminating positions through attrition instead of layoffs no longer is enough, Mr. Zalar said.

"There just isn't enough other places to go in the budget without affecting the quality and overall integrity of our education," he said.

Oregon schools are facing a $1.9 million deficit in the 2009-2010 school year, an amount expected to balloon to $7 million in the next school year. Without any changes, the deficit would be almost $23.5 million in the 2012-2013 school year, Mr. Zalar said.

More than 150 district employees, parents, and residents packed Clay High School's library for the board meeting Tuesday. The district has 3,872 students and 434 employees.



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