Tri-Cities schools hiring more teachers - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities schools hiring more teachers

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- State budget cuts have made big dents in education, but it is a different story in the Tri-Cities. School districts are hiring, not firing. With population growth, comes a need for more room and more teachers.

The Kennewick School Board approved its $151 million budget Wednesday night, and decided to hire an additional 11 full time teachers. Those teachers will work mostly in elementary school where the biggest needs are.

The school district lost a lot of federal funding but, they had some reserves for the new positions.

Lorraine Cooper with the Kennewick School District said, "basically over the past several years, we've been reducing staff. And in our elementary school especially we've been seen growth in enrollment, so over the last several years what we're seeing is classrooms that are getting quite large, sometimes classrooms with 30 students in them."

Cooper says the additional staff should bring classroom size back down to 25 kids. Pasco schools are also working on filling 28 new positions this summer. Richland schools have hired eight teachers for the next school year so far, however,they are not all new positions. Some are replacements for people leaving.