Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/07/2012 01:50:04 AM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – The school board voted after midnight Wednesday to eliminate a record 251 positions from next year’s budget.

The lion’s share of those jobs are elementary school teachers, with the equivalent of 115 full-time K-6 teaching positions cut from the San Bernardino City Unified School District’s 2012-13 budget.

Board members voted to send preliminary layoff notices to certificated employees – an employee classification that consists of positions such as teachers and counselors – so they could make a legally required March 15 deadline, but they hope many of those positions will be restored if the budget outlook later improves.

“This was not why I ran for this position, and we’re not taking pleasure, any one of us, in what we’re doing,” board member Bobbie Perong said. “I’m just hoping for a better time when we can say we’re adding teachers, not taking them away.”

That depends on union negotiations, among other things, but districts are often able to bring back many employees who are initially told their job will be cut. The board sent layoff notices to 210 teachers this time last year – a record at the time – and brought back 88 by June.

Wednesday’s cut stemmed from a proposal approved two weeks ago that entailed eliminating 136 certificated positions along with 103 other jobs as part of an effort to cut nearly $22 million from the budget.

But those 136 jobs ballooned to 251 because of changing projections since the last board meeting, including smaller- than-expected enrollment.

To read entire story, click here.