Nearly $5 million in cuts was approved by the Bellevue School Board last Tuesday to rebuild the district’s reserve.
The cuts, which already have begun this year and will continue into the next school year, will affect several para-educator and teaching positions.
A crowd of concerned para-educators, teachers, parents and their special needs children turned out for the meeting, dozens of whom stood up to express disapproval of the cuts. Several signs were set up outside the meeting room, one of which read: “It’s a disservice to our disabled kids to cut para-educator hours: Please serve our kids.”
Approved reductions to the 2008-2009 budget include an elimination of more than 30 teaching positions and nine administrative positions. In addition, 18 para-educator positions will not be filled next year.
School officials say no current employees are expected to loose their jobs.
An initial plan in reductions that was outlined by the board recently also had called for reductions in para-educator hours. Under the approved plan, current employees will not lose any hours or benefits.
Between last year and this year, the district has suffered a deficit to its general fund of more than $4 million. With the approved cuts, the district will save $4.8 million.
Carrie Wood can be reached at email@example.com or 425-453-4290.