Capitol Chaos: Officials Asked To Approve Layoff Notices

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WAUKESHA - Wisconsin's public school administrators are being advised to approve preliminary layoff notices for staff by the end of the month -- even before they find out how much the state is expected to contribute to their budgets.

The Wisconsin Association of School Boards is urging local school officials to decide on staff cuts by Monday, or risk having those layoffs challenged later in court. State law requires school districts to provide staff layoff notices by March 15 for the following school year.

Teachers must also receive a preliminary notice 15 days before that.

The state's collective bargaining law has allowed school boards to delay that deadline with the union's permission.

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"I think it's an unintended consequence," said Waukesha Schools Superintendent Todd Gray.  "I think we just have to deal with it."

Gray said he had no idea how many teachers could be laid off, or where he would have to make cuts.

"It would be very tough for me to do, especially because it's likely it would have to be our least senior people.  In many cases, we would just be guessing."

Association attorney Barry Forbes tells the Journal Sentinel those deadlines could be wiped out with the passage of Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill.

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The Journal Sentinel report can be found at: http://bit.ly/hSJjN3
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Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, http://www.jsonline.com