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50 Timberlane school district staffers could get pink slips

Union Leader Correspondent

April 01. 2018 9:44PM
Timberlane Regional School District Superintendent Earl Metzler. (Jason Schreiber)

PLAISTOW — More than 50 teachers, paraprofessionals and other members of the Timberlane Regional School District’s staff may be getting pink-slipped next year due to a budget shortfall, Superintendent Earl Metzler said Friday.

The uncertainty over school positions follows the March 13 vote in which district voters rejected the proposed $72.8 million school budget by a vote of 1,216 in favor to 2,067 against, forcing the district to operate under a $71.9 million default budget.

Metzler claims a majority of the school board supported a default budget that wasn’t prepared properly and was “significantly underfunded,” resulting in the district being short $700,000 for special education, $500,000 for transportation and $350,000 for food service.

Under state law, the default budget is supposed to be the same budget authorized the previous year with certain adjustments for debt service, contracts and other obligations previously incurred or mandated by law, with one-time expenses removed.

The shortfall means positions will have to be cut, Metzler said.

He said he has already met with the unions for teachers and support staff.

Metzler has until April 15 to let staffers know if their contracts will be renewed for the next school year. They’re expected to find out on Thursday.

“I have about 50 people that we won’t be able to invite back just yet,” he said.

They include classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, secretaries, and maintenance staff.

“There will be sacrifices made across the district. It leaves us with significant challenges for next year,” said Metzler, who called the budgeting process “reckless.”

According to Metzler, it’s possible some may be able to get their jobs back as the budget is reviewed further.

Metzler said his biggest concern is “student outcome and student achievement.”

“Our services have been impacted in a negative way,” he said.

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