10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, May 11, 2010

By DAYNA STRAEHLEY
The Press-Enterprise

The Riverside school board voted unanimously Tuesday to send 375 final layoff notices to teachers.

Board members voiced their frustration with the number of layoffs, lack of settlement with the teachers union and legal requirements to dismiss least-senior teachers first without regard to their performance.

Riverside City Teachers Association President Mark Lawrence said he too is disheartened.

“I feel the district is not pushing for any measures to solve this problem,” Lawrence said. He said after the meeting that negotiations about furlough days or other forms of salary cuts to save jobs are planned today and Thursday.

Board members Kathy Allavie and Chuck Beaty both referred to a letter e-mailed by parent Victoria Huscher asking they consider her son’s first-grade teacher Catherine Breyer and students. Teacher of the Year Jamie Aballi also received a layoff notice.

Under law, the layoffs are based on seniority.

“We cannot be letting our great teachers go like this,” Allavie said. “Unless this changes, parents won’t continue to bring their children (to public schools) where the best and brightest are let go.” Allavie said.

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