The grim state of education is dropping the axe on Union City yet again as the New Haven Unified School District votes on an initial round of layoffs for the 2012-13 school year at tonight’s Board of Education meeting.
On the agenda is a resolution to issue preliminary pink slips to teachers in order to eliminate 77 full-time certificated staff positions. (Download the agenda here or click on the document to the right.)
The action is a precautionary measure as school budgets continue to remain in flux, stressed district spokesman Rick La Plante. The state’s deadline for districts to approve all layoffs is March 15.
“These are measures the state pretty much forces us to take,” La Plante said.
The cuts include 25 multiple subject teaching positions at elementary schools, along with all library staff, literary coaches, music teachers and other elective positions in elementary and middle schools.
The Board of Education will also vote on reductions for about 30 classified district staff positions.
“In economic times like this, we have to err on the side of caution,” La Plante said. “We issue more notices than we want. We don’t want to disrupt people’s lives. It’s terrible, but the state hasn’t given us many choices.”
This time . However, as the start of the 2011-12 school year drew closer, the district was able to offer jobs to everyone on the initial layoff list, according to La Plante.
“Not all of them took the offer; some of them retired or moved to other districts by then,” La Plante said. “At least we were able to make that offer.”
“Hopefully we can do that again this year,” he added.
The cuts to staff are just some of the measures the district may take for the 2012-13 school year.
“We have to have as many possibilities as we can so that we have flexitbility to say, ‘We can make this work but not that,’” La Plante said.
During the Feb. 21 school board meeting, the district’s chief business officer, Akur Varadarajan, highlighted New Haven’s financial stress.
According to Varadarajan, the district has lost nearly $16 million in funding from the state since 2008 and faces up to another $10.7 million in losses for the 2012-13 school year.
To lessen the impact, the , to be voted on in June. The tax would raise $3 million each year it’s in place.
Without it, the impacts could be severe for students, Varadarjan said.
In addition to the layoffs, some of the other money-saving actions include:
- nine budget reduction days for the 2012‐13 school year, estimated to save $3 million
- increasing K‐2 class sizes to 30-to-1, estimated to save $1.1 million
- eliminating the Community Day School, which will result in the layoff of two FTE teaching positions, estimated to save $100,000
- eliminating stipends for co‐curricular and athletics programs, estimated at $200,000
"The blame is squarely on Sacramento," La Plante said of the worsening state of local education.
Tonight's meeting will be held at its regular time at 7:30 p.m. at , located at 34200 Alvarado-Niles Rd.