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Hart District: No Teacher Layoffs Next Year

Friday, March 13th was dubbed "Pink Friday," and it was a day where hundreds of local teachers in the William S. Hart School District and supporters demonstrated their opposition to potential layoffs caused by state budget cuts.

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Friday, April 24th might now be dubbed "Green Friday" as the District has announced that all 98 teachers who were told they might be laid off will be keeping their jobs.  

The news is sure to bring some form of relief to teachers who were at the mercy of accountants and state legislators.

All school districts were forced by law to notice all potential layoffs by March 15th, and those decisions reflected a "worst case scenario" as revenue expectations fluctuated a decisions in Sacramento were made.

{mosimage}"As we continued to re-evaluate the budget and the district's programmatic needs, we looked for ways to maintain the district's financial stability and still preserve all of the jobs," explained Rochelle Neal, assistant superintendent of human resources. The decision was announced this morning as hearings were ready to get underway.

"Credit is due to our staff members, who worked very hard to come up with solutions to the budget crisis that will avoid laying off employees," added Superintendent Jaime Castellanos. "From the beginning, the Board was resolute that, despite the budget crisis, no employee was to lose their job. We are elated that we were able to attain this goal so that all employees keep their jobs intact."

Just a few days ago the District announced that it was able to take 62 teachers off the layoff list. The good news today offered jobs for the remaining 36 teachers that had been facing potential layoffs. .

A lingering $24 million dollar shortfall is still projected however, and the Hart district says that they're still looking at ways to offset that. According to Hart district officials the potential solutions could include increased class size, a reduced work year, a cap on benefits and/or across-the-board salary reductions. Those issues are all pending ongoing negotiations with employee unions.