Richland parents express concerns to district over potential staffing cuts

RICHLAND, Wash. - Over 100 parents gathered at White Bluffs Elementary School on Wednesday night to address their concerns to the Richland School District about potential staffing cuts.  

KAPP KVEW first broke the story last month when it was revealed that the district was considering cuts to its special education program and paraeducators. In response to parents concerns, the district scheduled four forums to meet with parents about their vision for their special education program and answer any questions they may have.

The meeting started off with incoming Superintendent Dr. Nicole MacTavish giving brief remarks about the district’s goals and their desire for the public’s input.  Several parents then started raising their hands to ask questions about whether or not cuts would be made to special education programs or paraeducators.

Dr. MacTavish said they do not have a solid plan for what they are doing with special education programs yet, which is why they are holding these meetings. However, she did say they do not have any plans to cut certified staff, but declined to say whether or not paraeducators would see cuts next school year.

"We're still waiting to see what our actual funding is," Dr. MacTavish said. "Then budget managers can work on their staffing, which is what this is really about. People are worried about teachers and about paraeducators. As soon as we know that, we will release it. We just don't know that yet."

The first draft of the budget will come out on Tuesday, which should provide a clearer picture for what the district’s plan for the future is.  

Two additional forums will take place tomorrow night at Sacajawea Elementary and Richland High from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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