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Saugus Union board members approve layoffs

Class sizes to increase

Posted: March 11, 2009 1:40 a.m.
Updated: March 11, 2009 11:30 a.m.
 
The Saugus Union School District board approved laying off 35 full-time teachers and increasing K-3 class sizes by two or three students Tuesday night as the district grapples with a $3 million deficit for the 2009-10 fiscal year.

"It's with a very heavy heart that we do this," said Judy Umeck, board president after the unanimous vote in favor of the layoffs.

Teachers and administrators from the district's 15 elementary schools packed the board room to listen in on the cuts the district will make to meet the shortfall.

"It's really the saddest moment I can remember in all of my years at the district," Joan Oxman, president of the Saugus Union School District Teachers Association, told the board.

Board members offered their support and gratitude for the district's teachers.

"We are pulling together as best as possible and we need to continue to do that," board member Paul De La Cerda said.

The layoffs save the district $1.6 million. Putting 22 or 23 students in a classroom saves the district $1.3 million.

The board also approved transfers from the physical education teacher fund and deferred maintenance fund to the general fund for the current fiscal year as a way to reduce any further budget cuts.

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