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Clark County schools lift hiring freeze after staff reassignments

Updated October 11, 2017 - 8:11 pm

Clark County School District’s hiring freeze for teachers and school-based administrators will end Friday, Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky has informed trustees.

The hiring freeze was approved in August by the school district, one of the first measures taken to reduce an ongoing budget deficit estimated at between $50 million and $60 million.

News of the end of the freeze came as the district embarked on “surplus reassignment,” a biannual exercise in which teachers and support staff are bumped from their positions at schools where enrollment is below projections. The process determines where support staff and teachers will be reassigned or if they will be laid off.

The number of affected employees is similar to previous years, but with the district’s deficit, the process has taken on new urgency.

The district said 141 support staff employees and 122 teachers will be reassigned or lose their jobs.

“Many of the the support staff and likely all of the teachers will be reassigned to another position,” district spokeswomen Kirsten Searer said Wednesday.

The support staff process began Wednesday morning, and the teacher process is slated for Thursday afternoon. Employees who do not end up with a position at the end of the process will likely be terminated.

“We do not know how much money we will save from the surplus process or how many employees ultimately will go to a reduction in force,” Skorkowsky’s memo said.

Once the surplus process is complete, the district will update the board on the budget shortfall, Skorkowsky said Tuesday in the memo. No new proposed budget cuts will be submitted to the board before its Nov. 9 meeting.

“We would aim to offer you reductions that would not require a surplus or reduction in force process because we do not want to have more than one surplus process until our regular spring surplus,” the memo read.

More cuts may need to be proposed in November, as the district’s administrators and the teachers unions have rejected a School Board plan calling for employees to take two unpaid days, called furlough days, to reduce the budget.

Meanwhile, a plan to shutter a day program for at-risk students to save money also has been delayed.

The decision came after board members heard testimony from students urging them to keep the Burk Horizon day program running at least through the end of the school year. Shutting down the program would have saved the district about $1.9 million.

Contact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mdelaney@reviewjournal.com. Follow @MeghinDelaney on Twitter.

Update on Clark County School District Budget by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Scribd

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