Camas, WA — At Monday’s Camas School District’s (CSD) Board meeting, the five-member board voted unanimously to begin a district-wide layoff process by ratifying Resolution No. 22-04, a Modified Educational Program.
CSD has been working for months analyzing where to make budget cuts to bridge at $7.4 million budget deficit. Monday’s vote gives the CSD cabinet the authority to formally begin the process to make those cuts, which will include layoffs to certificated, classified and administrative employees.
This is the board’s resolution:
WHEREAS, the Camas School District No. 117 (“District”) faces financial issues due to inflation, increased staffing costs, reductions in enrollment and the state funding model;
WHEREAS, all general fund cash reserves and contingency funds have been considered for use by the Board;
WHEREAS, the District formed the Superintendent Budget Committee, sought input from and conferred both collectively and individually with the Camas Education Association (“CEA”), Public School Employees (“PSE”), Camas Association of Educational Office Professionals (“CAEOP”), building administrators, unrepresented employees, and other community stakeholders;
WHEREAS, the District will identify all persons within the CEA, PSE, CAEOP, building administration & unrepresented employees who willingly will agree to a Reduction in Force through resignations, leaves of absence and/or retirement;
WHEREAS, unless corrected, budget and cash flow analysis by the District anticipates a budget deficit of approximately $7.4 million for the 2023-2024 school year;
WHEREAS, the District has determined that unreserved/unassigned cash reserve of approximately $1.4 million should be budgeted for the 2023-2024 school year.
WHEREAS, the Superintendent has recommended that the Board adopt a Modified Educational Program.
NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved by the Board of Directors of Camas School District No. 117 as follows:
- The Superintendent is directed to implement a Modified Educational Program; and
- The Superintendent is directed to prepare a 2023-2024 operating budget that reduces expenditures nearly to the level of reasonably anticipated revenues and reasonably available fund balance, subject to unreserved/unassigned cash reserve limitations noted above; and
- The Superintendent is directed to take such action as may be required by law to notify certificated, classified, and administrative employees who will be affected by reductions in positions; and
- The Superintendent is authorized to make such other plans to implement the reduced educational program as are necessary to comply with the legal obligations of the District.
RESOLUTION adopted this 27 day of March, 2023.
Board members are: Connie Hennessey, Corey McEnry, Erika Cox, Tracey Malone, and Bamini Pathmanathan
The Camas Education Association (CEA), who represents a majority of certificated teachers, responded with this statement:
On March 27, the School Board passed Board Resolution 22-04. The title of the resolution is “Modified Educational Program.”
The resolution is more commonly known as the RIF (Reduction in Force) Resolution, which directs the Superintendent to begin the process of laying off staff, thereby reducing the amount of support our students receive at school.
During the Public Comments portion of last night’s meeting, CEA Vice President Michael Sanchez urged the Board to reconsider any and all cuts.
Along with the rest of the community, the Camas Education Association is saddened to hear that this resolution unanimously passed. Cuts always mean that our students are the ones who ultimately suffer the most.
Last night’s meeting was standing room only, with many first-time attendees. These attendees aren’t necessarily familiar with the machinations of school budgets, and they’re certainly not as up-to-speed as those who deal with this on a regular basis.
Customarily, members of the Board will discuss among themselves the Motion to adopt a resolution of this magnitude.
At least, Board members should.
However, at last night’s meeting, the Board did not see fit to offer any sort of rationale that would be entered into the public record. For the many people who were attending their very first Board meeting and were there to advocate for their schools, they heard ZERO discussion from their School Board that evening regarding the RIF Resolution.
CEA finds this especially galling, especially from a District that claims to value transparency.
The School Board missed an important opportunity to provide those observing the proceedings with insight as to how they arrived at their decision.
We hope that in the future, the School Board will take the time to give even the most perfunctory statements the next time they make decisions with such far reaching consequences.
-The Camas Education Association Executive Board
Layoff notices will be distributed before this school year ends.