Tacoma Public Schools lays off more employees to cope with budget shortfall

TACOMA, Wash. -- Tacoma Public Schools has laid off another five employees in the district, bringing the total number of layoffs this year to 37.

School district spokesman Dan Voelpel told Q13 that the layoffs, coupled with other budget cuts, have saved $19 million in the budget. The district is also planning to cut another six positions for an additional $4 million in savings, but the six jobs on the chopping block haven't been announced yet.

The positions eliminated in the latest round of layoffs include: PIO coordinator, executive assistant for k-12, accounting tech, copy center specialist and boiler tech.

Some of the positions that were cut were vacant, and others were able to move to other departments within the district.

Tacoma Public Schools' budget was hit hard by the state's new funding formula for local school districts, as well as a contentious battle with the teacher's union that ended with a 14 percent raise for teachers, leaving an even bigger budget hole.

So far, all of the positions eliminated have been at the district's central office, but Voelpel says by next year, those cuts could reach schools. No teacher positions have been cut.