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Janesville School Board to vote on teacher layoff notices Wednesday

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
April 2, 2011
— The Janesville School Board has decided to vote on teacher layoff notices sooner than later.

Board President Bill Sodemann said the board wanted to finalize the notices as soon as possible so teachers would know where they stand.


The teachers contract requires notices to be issued by May 1 for layoffs that take effect July 1.


About 50 teaching positions are proposed to be eliminated because of enrollment declines.


Another 55 positions are on a list of potential cuts to members of the Janesville Education Association. They include counselors, librarians and learning-support teachers.


Sodemann said the board likely would issue more layoff notices than is needed to make sure the 2011-12 budget can be balanced. As the districtís finances become clearer, some teachers who received the notices would be called back.


In other business at Thursdayís five-hour board meeting, the board took no action on motions to use a portion of the districtís financial reserves to help balance next yearís budget.


The board voted on a series of motions to use sums ranging from $1.5 million to $8 million, Sodemann said. All motions failed.


Sodemann said some members thought some of those amounts were too low, some members thought some of those amounts were too high, and some members were not ready to commit to any amount until the districtís financial picture becomes clearer.


The meeting had one bright spot: A report on how students did on the 2010 state tests. As a whole, the district did well, often exceeding state averages in reading and math, director of instruction Kim Ehrhardt told the board.


Most district test results in recent years have been near or below the state average.


Board members cheered the results, with board member Peggy Sheridan jumping to her feet and whooping, Sodemann said.


If you go

The Janesville School Board will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Educational Services Center, 527 S. Franklin St., to consider approval of teacher layoff notices and adoption of the 2011-12 staffing plan.



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