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Hart, Newhall school districts to send layoff notices

Full-timers to learn fate by March 15

Posted: February 18, 2009 12:49 a.m.
Updated: February 18, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 

In anticipation of multi-million dollar cuts to the 2009-10 fiscal budget, two local school districts are prepared to send hundreds of potential layoff notices to full-time employees by March 15, school officials said Tuesday.

Newhall School District officials will send 109 notices to teachers and administrators, said Superintendent Marc Winger.

"We're trying to save all the jobs we can," he said.

The 109 notices serve as an estimate until legislators pass a state budget.

"It does not mean 109 people will be laid off," he said.

Newhall faces a $3 million cut for the 2009-10 school year, Winger said. The slice is more than 5 percent of the district's $57 million budget.

The William S. Hart Union High School District anticipates sending 172 layoff notices to full-time employees by March 15.

"It just means we're trying to position ourself in preparing for the worst-case scenario," said Hart Superintendent Jaime Castellanos.

Hart's board members will make the final decision about layoff notices during tonight's meeting.

Board members would rather have employees take sizeable pay cuts if it means keeping jobs, Castellanos said.

Both districts must make layoffs by May 15.

Hart district officials are preparing for a $34 million slice to the budget over the next two-and-a-half years, he said.

"I think we have no choice. We're all bracing for the worst-case scenario," Castellanos said.

Members of the Newhall Teachers Association remain in limbo until a state budget passes.

"Of course, temporary teachers pretty much know they're not going to have a job in the district," association President Carole Magnuson said.

Even though layoff notices are finalized in May, the preliminary notices come with emotion.

"They pretty much know that things look very bleak," she said, referring to temporary teachers, who are on the bottom of the seniority list.

Despite word of the cuts, teachers remain focused on the children.

"There have been lean times financially for school districts in the past and teachers always make it work," she said. "It's hard. I told teachers: Prepare for the worst, but don't expect the worst."

Despite attempts at deal-cutting, legislative leaders Tuesday were unable to find one additional Republican in the Senate to pass the budget plan.

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