ISD Schools Feel Impact of District Layoffs

Yuqi Ni, Forum Writer

On April 13th, Issaquah School District made a decision to lay off staff members to ease the
district’s financial shortfall for the next school year.

According to the K5 News, “During a school board meeting, Issaquah School Board members
approved a plan to combat a projected $36.7 million deficit for the 2021-22 school year.”

Even though the estimated saving of this decision is not enough to make up the whole deficit, an
estimation of $22 million is still proposed to make up part of it. The target areas of this plan
mostly fall onto counselors, coaches, food service workers, paraprofessional teachers, building
administration and deans.

Due to the COVID Pandemic, the number of enrollment decreased by 1,652 students.
Remote learning was one factor that led to decreased funding for food services and
transportation, as well as a huge decrease in the number of before and after school care
enrollment, resulting in massive loss of tuition.

“The district considers the number of teachers to lay off based on the number of enrollment from
last year,” said Stephanie Anderson, a student counselor at Skyline High school. “Due to the
pandemic, most pre-school student parents chose to wait until the next year to enroll their kids,
which caused the district to lose a large number of student enrollments. One phenomenon is that
the district is more likely to lay off the newer teachers than the older ones.”

From the students, some of their favorite teachers experienced this layoff, and they felt very
disappointed for not being able to see the teachers in person this year. Most of them advocated for the teachers to return back to school.

“I suggest all the teachers should be kept as long as they are teaching and following the COVID
restrictions because they all have different ways of teaching, which could help the students learn
in different ways,” said Kumi Yoshida, a senior who attended her junior year entirely online. “I
think the teachers who got laid off should come back because it wasn’t fair since they worked
hard and helped support Skyline.”

Now, schools are reopening, and students and teachers are returning back in person, while the
impacts resulting from the staff layoff began to emerge.

Students noticed schools are now adopting the free lunch menu that is available to every school
attending school in person.

A student pointed out another issue she discovered while riding the school bus, which is a result
of the impact of staff layoff.

“I’ve noticed a few of my teachers were gone after the COVID school shut down,” said Jennah
Shalanfeh, a senior who rides the school bus each morning, “I don’t know the exact reason why
they got laid off. Another thing that I have noticed is a shortage of bus drivers at Skyline. A lot
of kids have had to take longer bus routes and there are more people seated in each bus than

The COVID Pandemic not only caused the safety of people, but also the loss of jobs in the
schooling industry.