Over 600 local certificated employees face loss of jobs
Canan Tasci, Staff Writer
Created: 03/13/2011 09:52:21 PM PDT

It’s going to be another tough year for Inland Valley school districts as they continue to shrink staffs and increase class sizes due to the bleak financial condition of the state.

Area districts have indicated they will send out more than 600 pink slips to teachers and staffers, letting them know they may not be able to afford their services come the next school year.

Districts have until Tuesday to send out the preliminary notices informing teachers, counselors, nurses and other certificated personnel that they may not have a job in the fall.

“This is really tough because these are real people that we really do care about,” said Rick Carr, superintendent of Ontario-based Mountain View School District.

The district – which has only three elementary schools and one middle school – issued seven notices to classroom teachers.

“I wish the economy looked better and California looked better,” Carr said.

Although the numbers of notices are still being tallied, education officials said Friday more than 10,000 teachers statewide are at risk of losing their jobs, and there’s a potential the number might rise to 17,000.

Last year, more than 20,000 notices were issued to teachers and other staffers around the state.

Districts can rescind notices at any time, even if it’s the middle of the next school year.

While Ontario-Montclair and Central school district officials are confident they’ll be able to bring back their certificated employees by the beginning of the school year, other districts may not be so lucky.

Mt. Baldy School District board members approved a preliminary layoff notice for their only half-time physical education teacher.

“It is hard to predict the likelihood of her coming back. (It will depend) on the state budget and you know how that is going,” Superintendent Kevin Vaughn said.

School officials as well as Gov. Jerry Brown hope state lawmakers will approve a special election for June to allow voters a chance to continue a five-year extension of temporary taxes.

Brown’s preliminary budget plan – released in January to close a $25 billion gap – spares cutting K-12 education if voters approve the tax extension.

As a result of layoffs, school districts such as Alta Loma and Mountain View are looking at increasing their class sizes in the next school year.

“We moved from 20 students to a teacher to 24 to 1 this year and we’re looking at what the impact would be of 30 to 1 or 28 to 1 the next year,” said Michael Whisenand, superintendent of Alta Loma School District.

Last month, the Rancho Cucamonga-based district approved 18 preliminary layoff notices.

The Mountain View district, which was once praised by former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell for keeping its class sizes at 20 to 1, can no longer afford the luxury of small classes.

Carr said elementary classes in the district are at about 27 students to a teacher, but next school year they’ll go up to 30 to 1.

To read entire story, click here.