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Two teachers out of work before the school year

Administrators say low enrollment means staff reductions

Two teachers out of work before the school year

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho - Some teachers in Bonneville School District 93 are out of a job for the upcoming school year.

Re-structuring was announced at Wednesday night's school board meeting and two teachers will be packing up their classrooms.

For years, Lincoln Alternative has been the option for students who don't fit a traditional classroom setting; and it still is.

But the new technical careers high school and online schooling has lowered Lincoln's enrollment.

"Sit down, do your homework, listen to the lecture -- a lot of kids don't learn that way and they drop out," said Dr. Charles Shackett, superintendent. "Well, we've set up a lot of safety nets to catch those kids with different methods of learning."

With 17 teachers for around 180 students at Lincoln Alternative, administrators said they were over-staffed and decided to remove two teaching positions.

"We built a schedule based on certification, needs of the students, and then looked at what we could do without and that's how the decision was made," said Gordon Howard, principal at Lincoln Alternative.

The district said it will be tough to find a teaching job this time of year, but because of budget concerns, they weren't able to let them go sooner.

"We had to let a few teachers go from that school, but overall we're growing," said Shackett. "We're going to hire maybe 12-15 teachers this year."

Those teachers are free to apply, but there are no guarantees they'll be hired.

The teachers let go Wednesday night aren't the only ones in limbo. Teacher contract negotiations for Bonneville SD 93 are still ongoing.

The district and the teachers can't come to an agreement, so they'll meet with a mediator in July.

Idaho Falls School District 91 just agreed on its teacher contracts earlier this month.

Teachers were able to sign off on it right before the end of the school year.

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