Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 05/05/2010 05:34:31 PM PDT

ONTARIO – Chaffey Joint Union High School District board members approved the layoff of 55 certificated employees at Tuesday’s meeting.

The recommendation to terminate the services of certificated employees – primarily teachers and counselors – was proposed based on hearings conducted by an administrative law judge.

Hearings determine whether the district has properly followed the Education Code procedure and accurately notified employees. The hearings are standard and procedural.

“These last couple years is not a journey I’ve ever wanted to take, it’s been torturous and difficult for everybody,” said Jan Thornhill, president of Associated Chaffey Teachers.

As much as Thornhill wanted to object to the number of final layoff notices, she said, “I and my team are well trained in school budget and we’ve come to the same conclusion.”

Districts across the state must ratify their final layoff lists by May 14 to certificated employees that will not be returning to work in the next school year.

Like many districts dealing with budget cuts, Chaffey must cut their budget by $11.9 million.

“This has been a difficult process because of the decrease of funding,” said Lynne Ditfurth, assistant superintendent of personnel.

Tentative layoff notices were sent in March to 84 certificated employees.

Last year, the district – which has schools in Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario and Montclair – was able to offer retirement incentives or packages to employees, but this year it was not able to offer those incentives.

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