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Valley schools to hire six teachers

The school district is receiving more state and federal money than it had first anticipated. Based on revised projections, the district's budget shortfall will be around $700,000 less than originally thought.

With a smaller budget shortfall, the district will be able to retain more teachers. The district had cut the equivalent of 19.5 full-time teaching positions in its budget reduction plan. Most positions were eliminated by attrition — teachers retiring, resigning or taking leaves of absence. However, nine teachers were laid off by the district in May.

Because of the revised budget projections, the district is bringing on the equivalent of six teachers in core subjects and to decrease classroom sizes in elementary schools.

One math teacher is being added at Mount Si High School. The equivalent of three and a half teachers are being added to elementary schools. Some part-time teachers in middle schools will be made full-time.

The district could receive another $500,000 in a state grant for special education services. Since the money would come as a grant, it could have restrictions on its use, and it could go away after two years.

Nonetheless, the district's budget situation has improved.

“How far it moves in the right direction is the question,” said district business manager Ron Ellis.

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