Dear Wayne-Westland School Community:
Over the past ten years, enrollment has changed significantly within Wayne-Westland Community Schools. The budgeting process has shown that steps need to be taken to address our district’s financial challenges and the changing enrollment. I want to update you on our current plan going forward.
The district has received $26.3 million in grants, which includes the COVID-19 funds that support the response to the pandemic. These funds have flexibility in their use. In our effort to optimize the use of these funds and alleviate pressure on the general fund, some staff salaries will be reclassified to focus their use on the appropriate grant funding. This ensures that all available resources are used effectively to benefit our staff and students.
In our commitment to preserve jobs and maintain workforce stability, we have closely reviewed our current vacant positions. Rather than hiring new staff, we are taking the opportunity to fill these positions with current staff members. We remain committed to placing the best people in the right jobs while exercising responsible stewardship in the management of our budget.
While we have taken significant steps to retain staff, there were layoffs in non-instructional positions, including administrators. These decisions were made after careful consideration, and all impacted employees have been notified. We continue to actively work with those impacted to place them in open positions within the district. We are committed to supporting our colleagues wherever possible during this transitional period.
The district also explored the possibility of privatizing transportation. We have decided not to move forward with outsourcing. Instead, we will attempt to work with the union to find a shared solution to the transportation problems. Over the past several weeks, the bargaining group has expressed a desire to collaborate with the district to identify ways to control costs and increase consistency. We look forward to continuing that discussion in hopes of determining a direction to resolve the ongoing concerns.
As we navigate these challenges, we remain steadfast in our dedication to providing the highest quality education to our students. We are committed to aligning our resources with the current needs of our students. These measures will address the immediate financial hurdles and position Wayne-Westland Community Schools for continued success in the years ahead.
Thank you for your continued support, understanding, and commitment to Wayne-Westland Community Schools. We are confident we can overcome these challenges and emerge stronger as a united educational community.
John Dignan, Ed.D.