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.