Two Bremerton teachers face layoffs in order to trim costs

The Bremerton School Board voted Thursday to cut two classes, along with the teachers, in a move to reduce costs of classes with low enrollments.

The health care science technology class at Bremerton High School and the Academy of Finance program at West Sound Tech had about three and 12 students enrolled in those classes next year, respectively, making them too expensive for the number of students they would serve, Personnel Director Denise Zaske told the board at Thursday's meeting.

The board approved Zaske's recommendation on a 4-0 vote, with board member Vicki Collins absent.

The district aims to enroll 22 to 25 students in each class in order for the classes to pay for themselves. It receives state money based on enrollment numbers and each teacher costs about $75,000 in salary and benefits.

The classes and teachers may still be spared if enough people enroll in those programs by about late June, Zaske said. Teachers must be notified that they may be laid off by May 15, but they could be brought back if their classes are filled.

"We're always optimistic that we'll be able to recall those positions," Zaske said.

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