Furlough proposal concerns teachers

School officials say furloughing teachers could help districts save money without cutting jobs.

But for teachers in a state that ranks near the bottom in pay, the proposal is disconcerting.

Richland teacher Bonnie Crapps called it a “slippery slope.”

“Once you start furloughing, there’s no telling where it will go,” Crapps said. “This is people’s livelihood. Some of these teachers have been teaching a long time.

“This is our career. Whether people believe it or not, a lot of money is tied up in our education.”

The state Senate on Wednesday passed a bill that would allow schools to furlough teachers up to five days over three years, including this fiscal year.