By Kara Herlihy

Following the issuance of 10 RIF notifications to Harwood teachers, questions arose among parents and teachers about how the RIF statements will affect students who have already registered for classes that may not exist next year.

Harwood School Board chair Scott Mackey assured that the proposed RIFs will "have no impact on our student's ability to graduate."

EVALUATE THE IMPACT

"We won't know anything until the contract negotiations are finalized; we'll look at the schedule and evaluate the impact on the budget and see if we have to follow through on any of these," Mackey added.

"We're not going to deny any kid the requirements or delay or impact our graduation," he continued.

RIF notifications were sent last month as a part of the school board's effort to "preserve flexibility" and stay within the voter-approved budget for 2010.

CONTRACTUAL COSTS

Since Harwood's contract with the teacher's union is currently unresolved and set to expire at the end of this school year, the board decided to send RIF notices in order to preserve flexibility since the contractual costs and benefits aren't known as of yet.

RIF notices were issued to the most junior member of each department with the exception of the math and science departments; Mackey said the exception was the result of an existing vacancy based on a retirement.

The issuance of RIF notices is solely based on seniority through the contract that the union and the school board operate under, according to Mackey.

"We're continuing to resolve the contract; we hope to have it resolved, ideally before July 1," Mackey concluded.

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