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Federal Way schools minimize layoffs; teachers who lose jobs will be featured in booklet

Superintendent Tom Murphy received praise from community members at the last school board meeting for his work in sparing teachers' jobs in the budget.

The Federal Way School District worked its way through a $10.1 million loss in funding this year.

Murphy's recommendation was light on teacher layoffs, unlike many surrounding districts. The original announcement was 39 teachers. However, after figuring in teacher retirements and those who were already vacating their positions, the actual number of teachers who received layoff notices was 10.

"I am really astonished that we are only at 10 actual teaching positions," Federal Way Education Association (FWEA) President Shannon Rasmussen said.

However, those 10 teachers are not forgotten.

The FWEA is putting together a booklet to remind the governor and state Legislature just what their decisions have cost.

The booklet will feature each of the 10 teachers' photos, their thoughts on why they went into the profession, and what they plan on doing next.

"What I am hoping for is if they continue to hear from the educational community and the community of different people that are affected, they will make an effort to have a stable education funding process in the future," Rasmussen said.

In addition, a listing of the secretaries who lost their jobs in the budget cuts will be put in the booklet.

So far, Rasmussen has heard back from several of the teachers. FWEA hopes to have the booklet done by the end of this week or early next week to send to the governor and to the local legislators, with hopes that next year they will remember how deeply the cuts affect this area.

"We've been cutting for so many years," Rasmussen said. "Each time we have another cut at the legislative level, it so deeply affects us. I don't know what else we can cut."

Learn more

The school board will adopt a budget at its June 23 meeting.

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