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16 school district staff members moved to different schools

Sixteen Albert Lea School District staff members — primarily teachers — have been involuntarily transferred to new schools for the 2017-18 school year.

An involuntary transfer means that the staff member had no input in their newly assigned position, nor did they request the change in position, said Jim Quiram, executive director of administrative services for the district.

Reasons for the transfers include certain teachers having strengths or weaknesses in certain areas, a reduction or increase of students in certain programs, positions that have been eliminated by the Legislature, changes in programming at the Albert Lea Area Learning Center, changes in budget and changes in the schedule at Southwest Middle School.

The schedule changes at the middle school increased the number of teachers needed at the school, Quiram said.

He cited a domino effect that caused the number of transfers in the school district.

“I think there is some good rationale,” he said.

Since much of the funding in the school district comes from grants, including the Compensatory Education Pilot grant, the school district was not able to make decisions until the state education budget was finalized by the Minnesota state Legislature this spring. This funding process takes place every two years.

There are sometimes two or three moves because of cuts, Quiram said.

Once a position is cut or a program changes, gaps are often present in the staffing of the district. The school district then places teachers to fill those gaps, sometimes involuntarily.

“This is not abnormal — especially every other year,” Quiram said.

There are about 300 teachers in the district, resulting in an about 5 percent displacement of teachers.

About Evelyn Seffinga

Evelyn Seffinga covers education and arts and culture for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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