10:03 PM PST on Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Press-Enterprise

The Temecula Valley Unified school board will consider eliminating nearly 150 teaching and counseling positions at a special meeting Tuesday.

The board also will consider approving furloughs, pay freezes and other cost-cutting measures during the meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. in the district conference facility at 31350 Rancho Vista Road.

Temecula Valley is facing a $22 million to $26 million shortfall in 2010-11 because of the state budget crisis. The 148.8 positions being recommended for elimination equals about 10 percent of the district’s 1,417 certificated employees, which includes teachers, counselors, nurses and psychologists.

Administrators reached tentative agreements with teaching and classified, or nonteaching, unions earlier this month to cut costs through furloughs and salary freezes and save as many jobs as they could.

Under the agreement with the Temecula Valley Educators Association, class sizes will increase slightly throughout the district. Nearly all of the positions being recommended for elimination are related to the class-size increases, said district spokeswoman Melanie Norton.

Anne McNulty, president of the teachers union, said she hopes many of the affected teachers can be brought back. Retirements and other attrition could still open up positions, she said.

“That’s going to lower our numbers” of layoffs, she said.

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