Anchorage
61° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds

ASD Slowly Going Through Teacher Displacement Process

By Corey Allen-Young, Education Reporter, cyoung@ktuu.com
Published On: Mar 12 2014 08:58:59 PM AKDT

With the Anchorage school district trying to figure out which teachers to keep as part of its budget reductions.  Some of those educators say they are already being told that they are on the displacement list.

ANCHORAGE -

With the Anchorage School District trying to figure out which teachers to keep as part of its budget reductions, some of those educators say they are already being told that they are on the displacement list.

It's an equation that's getting tougher to solve every year: coming up with the magic number of teachers that will remain teaching in their current schools.

But with the Anchorage School District looking to slash 219 staff positions from its budget, principals have already started to determine which staff they need the most.

"A lot of teachers were finding out at the end of last week, " said Anchorage Education Association president Andy Holleman.

Heidi Embley, ASD's executive director of communications, says selections for the displacement list focus on eliminating redundancies.

"If a staff member who works in a building (is) in a particular specialty and there's no longer a need for that specialty in the building, then they will be displaced," Embley said.  

According to AEA, being displaced is not final.  

"It doesn't mean that they are losing their job at this point," Holleman said. "It does mean that the odds are very high they are not going to be in the same position they are in within the same building."

After being notified about displacement, teachers then go into a displacement pool. In April, principals will select from that group to fill any open spots they have in their schools.

Despite the potential layoffs, the district says it has to hire for some specific jobs, but not everyone will be qualified.

"It can get a little tricky and it is very complicated," Embley said. "Not every educator can teach every subject or every special needs requirement."

What will happen to the rest of the displaced staff depends on several factors. ASD says it loses 8 to 10 percent of teaching staff every year to normal attrition. 

"There will not be 200 layoff notices -- a number of positions have been vacated or will be by the end of the year, due to people retiring or notifying us that they will be leaving the district," Embley said. 

AEA says even if state lawmakers increase their formula for base student allocation -- a highly controversial topic in Juneau this year -- it would be hard to get displaced teachers back. Administrators already have to lay out their schedules and teacher assignments for the next school year. 

The district says while the displacement process has begun for teachers, actual layoff notices won't come out until May.