In response to state budget cuts, the Newhall School District voted Tuesday night to lay off 16 permanent status general education teachers. Earlier this year, the district laid off 14 temporary classroom teachers, bringing the total of teachers let go to 30.
The school board also imposed a hiring freeze for an assistant principal position for next year.
According to a release from the district, the board was able to rescind the layoff notices for 25 others who received preliminary notices in March, including 15 general education classroom teachers, five fine arts teachers and six assistant principals.
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“We are happy that we were able to carefully calculate the effect of rising class size and declining enrollment and rescind the majority of layoff notices. And we remain dismayed that we are forced to lay off any employees in reaction to the current budget uncertainty,” said Alexis Yannich, assistant superintendent of human resources for Newhall. “District administrative staff will be working every angle to bring back those teachers who have been laid off. This may, however, stretch through the spring months as local negotiations with the Newhall Teachers Association continue, state budget deliberations drag on and our staffing needs solidify.”
The board also approved a “Fiscal Stabilization Plan” as required by the Los Angeles County Office of Education. LACOE oversees the financial status of the district and approves its multi-year budget projections. Even though Newhall currently maintains a large reserve, it is decimated the year after next due to the cumulative effect of state revenue cuts. A letter from LACOE, in response to the district’s 2010-22 Second Interim Budget Revision requested “that the district adopt and submit a fiscal stabilization plan that restores and maintains the required reserves for 2012-13…”
The plan refers to, among other strategies, the implementation of some or all of the district’s “Plan B” which lists the savings from reductions of programs such as class size, fine arts, maintenance and other specialized funding. Plan B can be found on the NSD website here, under the “Budget Crisis” section.
“We are still in difficult times and have no clear picture from the state as we head into our 2011-12 Adopted Budget building process,” said Marc Winger, superintendent. “Without clarity, we may be forced to take further unwanted actions that help us to balance our ‘out year’ budgets. However, with a strong reserve, we believe we will be sheltered from the brunt of any large cuts as we move into the next school year.”
“While most of us will be relieved at that thought,” he continued. “The16 permanent teachers and 14 temporary teachers who have been laid off are uppermost in my mind – they have already felt the ugly effect of a potentially large revenue cut and declining enrollment. As always, our goal should be to maintain people and programs as we weather the storm.”