Negaunee Teacher Layoffs

The Negaunee Public Schools have been talking about a huge budget deficit, and how to fill it, for months now.

The good news?

The district has taken a step to re-balance the budget.

The bad news?

It’s a round of layoffs.

Last night, the school board laid off 7 school employees — 5 teachers from Lakeview Elementary, plus a teacher and a counselor from the high school.

Superintendent Jim Derocher says as unfortunate as this is, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

The district has been saying since at least March that it would have a huge deficit to fill for this fall — $1.4 million.

The school board has offered Negaunee’s more experienced school employees a buyout.

But the early retirements won’t be enough to bring the laid-off teachers back.

Derocher says some extra revenue-sharing from the state would help, as that’s more than 80% of their budget.

Even with the layoffs, the district still needs to make $1 million more in cuts.

The district has contract talks this summer with teachers, custodians and the transportation unit.

Derocher is hoping for some labor concessions from all of them.