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Teacher layoffs hit Hart district

Posted: March 18, 2008 1:57 a.m.
Updated: May 19, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
Two teachers for the William S. Hart Union High School District have received pink slips, and six administrators have received re-assignment notices, as school officials prepare for budget cuts
due to state shortfalls.

"In addition, we are looking at probably about 20 layoff notices for classified employees - we're not sure of the number at this time," said Rochelle Neal, assistant superintendent of human resources for Hart district.

The final deadline for layoff notices for classified employees is 45 days prior to July 1, or mid-May. Elementary school districts in the Santa Clarita Valley report they haven't yet been forced to lay off teachers.

One state official says 20,000 teachers, counselors, librarians, nurses and support staff statewide would receive layoff notices so school districts can meet the March 15 deadline to notify employees
if they won't have a job next school year.

The layoffs are in response to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's proposed plan to cut $4.8 billion from education funding.

No layoff notices have been handed out at the Saugus Union, Sulphur Springs or Newhall school districts.

"We are not issuing any March 15 certified notices this year,' said Rick Grove, assistant superintendent of personnel for the Saugus Union School District. "That doesn't mean we're not still concerned about the budget, but our goal is to keep the cuts as far away from the classrooms and our programs as possible."

Beverly Knutson, assistant superintendent of human resources for the Newhall School District, said that while the district has had to do some cutting, no personnel are being laid off at this time.

"We did reduce hours for some of our classified employees." Knutson said. "We're in good shape for now - we'll have to wait and see what the governor's going to do for next year."

Many are hopeful that the layoffs will never actually have to take place. Deep cuts in the governor's budget proposal are considered by some Sacramento watchers as a wake-up call aimed at convincing legislators to curb spending and find a way to stabilize California budget cycles.

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