By KARI BLURTON
Hays USD 489 has rehired five teachers for the 2014-15 school year.
“The teachers previously non-renewed were rehired to refill necessary vacancies due to retirements,” said district spokeswoman Elizabeth Jaeger.
The teachers rehired and their school assignments are:
• Sarah Smith, Washington Elementary, fourth grade
• Betsy Forinash, Lincoln Elementary, fourth grade
• Erin Flax, Wilson Elementary, third grade
• Leslie Karlin, Wilson Elementary, fifth grade
• Allison Kitchen, Hays Middle School, sixth grade
Facing more than a $1 million budget shortfall for the 2014-15 school year, the USD 489 school board this spring moved to cut 16 staff positions for the upcoming year. The retirement announcements opened positions and allowed some of those affected to be brought back. Overall, however, the number of staff positions to be cut remains the same.
“Teachers the district would rehire to reduce class size K-6th grades, where reductions were made in April, will be dependent on the outcome of the local option budget election this month and a decision by the Board of Education,” Jaeger said.
The board has said if the LOB measure is approved, the No. 1 priority is rehiring more teachers to help reduce elementary class sizes.
On June 11, Hays residents will receive a mail-in ballot asking that the LOB be raised from 30 percent to 31 percent — a move expected to generate $200,000 in additional revenue for the USD 489 district. Should that measure be approved by voters, the school board has the right to increase the LOB to either 32 percent or 33 percent for one year, after which it would revert to 31 percent.
For more on the upcoming LOB mail-in ballot, click HERE.