OSPI Becomes First State Agency to Institute Furlough Day
OLYMPIA — June 29, 2010 — The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction will be closed July 6, 2010.
The closure, a furlough day in which employees will not be paid, is part of agency budget cuts recommended by Gov. Chris Gregoire.
“I wish we didn’t have to do this,” said Randy Dorn, state superintendent. “We’ve made a lot of cuts during the past two years, but now we need to make more. And given a choice between cutting staff and taking a furlough day, I chose the furlough day.”
OSPI, the first agency in Washington state to take a furlough day this year, expects to save about $100,000 in state and federal money with the day’s closure.
During the past two years, the agency cut nearly $2 million (16 percent) of its operating budget. The cuts were achieved in a variety of ways, such as retirements, not filling positions and not rehiring temporary positions.
Services the agency provides have been affected by the cuts, Dorn said. He cited three examples:
- Professional Practices, which investigates alleged breaches of the teacher code of conduct;
- Audit Management and Resolution, which resolves state auditor findings against school districts and educational service districts; and
- Teacher Certification, which processes certification applications from would-be and continuing teachers.
“Our professional practices staff has been cut by 25 percent,” Dorn said. “It’s going to cause us to reprioritize the processes we’ve had for years.
“We have a great staff at OSPI, and I’m confident we’ll survive this round of cuts. But I am worried about the future. If we have to make more cuts, they will have real effects not only in the agency, but in schools and classrooms.”
OSPI will monitor its budget on a monthly basis to determine if more furlough days are needed.
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine Educational Service Districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.
OSPI does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual preference/orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.
OSPI Communications Manager
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